The Crab Pulsar, a fast-spinning supernova remnant discovered in 1968, appears to emit pulsed gamma-rays at greater energy levels than can be explained by current scientific models, a new study said Thursday.
Astrophysicists using the VERITAS telescope array at the Whipple Observatory in the US state of Arizona have detected that the intriguing young neutron star has energies exceeding 100 billion electron-volts (100 GeV).
The surprisingly strong gamma-ray pulses were written about by an international team of scientists in a paper in the October 7 issue of Science.
“These results put new constraints on the mechanism for how the gamma-ray emission is generated,” said Nepomuk Otte, one of the researchers who worked on the study at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Scientists have long believed that pulsar emissions are caused by electromagnetic forces created when a star’s rapidly rotating magnetic field accelerate charged particles to near the speed of light, producing radiation over a broad spectrum.
The details of how this happens remain a mystery however, and the researchers in this latest study said the findings show just how elusive a complete understanding of this mysterious process remains.
“After many years of observations and results from the Crab, we thought we had an understanding of how it worked, and the models predicted an exponential decay of the emission spectrum above around 10 GeV,” said David Williams, adjunct professor of physics at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the VERITAS collaboration.
“It came as a real surprise when we found pulsed gamma-ray emission at energies above 100 GeV,” Williams said.
The Crab pulsar was formed from the collapsed core of a massive star that exploded in a spectacular supernova in the year 1054, leaving behind the brilliant Crab Nebula, with the pulsar at its heart.
The relatively young neutron star, one of the most intensively studied objects in the sky, rotates about 30 times a second and has a powerful co-rotating magnetic field from which it emits beams of radiation which, seen from Earth, look like rapid pulses of radiation.
University of California at Los Angeles scientist Rene Ong, who was also part of the project, said more research will be needed to gain greater insight into the surprising findings.
“We need to take more measurements and get the exact shape of the spectrum at these very high energies,” he said.
There are roughly 100 scientists from 26 institutions who worked on the VERITAS collaboration project.
The Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System is a ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory.
A likely recession could doom Trump
President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.
This article first appeared in Salon.
"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"
MSNBC’s Joy Reid names every Trump-loving evangelical leader who refused to take her call on Trump’s ‘chosen one’ claim
On Saturday, in conversation with Muslim political commentator Dean Obeidallah, MSNBC's Joy Reid castigated evangelical conservatives for their silence on President Donald Trump anointing himself "the chosen one" and retweeting a radio host who compared him to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
"Dean, we reached out to a bunch of people," said Reid. "I wanted to know — I grew up in the church. The idea of somebody declaring themselves the next coming of God or the King of Israel, which is what the Romans used to belittle Jesus before they executed him for defying the Roman emperor — Now Trump saying it's a joke, it's apostasy. We reached out to Franklin Graham, Ralph Reed, Focus on the Family, Jerry Falwell Jr., Vice President Mike Pence, and the RNC. We got no response at all. We had Pat Robertson, who declined to comment."
Trump snaps at media for reporting on his ‘chosen one’ comment — and not knowing he was trying to be funny
Donald Trump broke his embargo on talking about his highly-derided claim that he is the "chosen one," claiming the media should be able to tell when he is being funny or not.
In two tweets from France where he is attending the G7 conference, Trump called reporting on his claim of divinity "fake news."
"When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said 'I am the chosen one,' at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a 'Messiah complex.'" he wrote. "They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just....having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH...And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust! "