Strange but true
Bright star is an understatement.
A dead star known as a Vela pulsar hit Earth with an energy blast so powerful that scientists are at a loss to explain it.
A study detailing the cosmic fireworks display was recently published in the journal Nature astronomy.
“This discovery was so unexpected… that it was somewhat difficult to understand,” said Arash Janati Atay, an astrophysicist at the Laboratory for Astroparticles and Cosmology in Paris, who oversaw the illuminating research. In the current situation.
Meanwhile, this phenomenon was also discovered by the High Energy Stereosystem Group in Namibia.
This is the highest energy explosion of its kind ever recorded, and scientists are currently unable to explain how a pulsar could emit such intense energy. This led the researcher to determine that this discovery challenges current knowledge of pulsars, and requires rethinking how these natural accelerators work.
For the uninitiated, the cause of the interstellar light show was a pulsar, a type of neutron star formed from the rotating remains of a dead star that exploded into a supernova. These stars are literally going out with such force that it is not known to pose a danger to humanity, according to Science Alert NASA.
Although only 12 miles across, this celestial centrifuge can spin at an incredible rate, emitting beams of electromagnetic radiation that can be seen on Earth at regular intervals like an intergalactic beacon.
Vela’s pulsar radiates a massive 20 trillion electron volts – “the highest energy gamma ray ever detected from a pulsar.” Janati Atay told Live Science.
To put this into perspective, most pulsars emit less than 10 billion EV, According to Space.com.
The only other pulsar known to approach Vela’s energy level is the Crab pulsar, which lies more than 6,000 light-years from Earth — and even that constellation maxed out at just 1 trillion electron volts.
In fact, this post-mortem display of voltage was an anomaly for Vela, which had previously been viewed as a fairly ordinary pulsar.
“This is 200 times stronger than all the radiation previously detected from this object,” says study co-author Christo Venter. From North-West University in South Africa.
Needless to say, the “bright star” phenomenon has scientists scratching their heads as to how such a high-energy emission could be produced.
“This result challenges our previous knowledge of pulsars and requires rethinking how these natural accelerators work,” Dejanati-Atay said.
Specifically, it threatens to upend traditional theory, which states that the radiation is created by fast electrons originating and emanating from a pulsar’s magnetosphere, a collection of plasma and electromagnetic fields on the star’s periphery that orbit with it.
However, the team hypothesized that it is possible that the Vela particles are being pushed out of this magnetic membrane, or that similar magnetic fields exist outside typical acceleration regions.
Ultimately, the team hopes their discovery will shed light on what happens to a star after it dies.
“We know we have a first of its kind on hand, which will help update our models of pulsar emission,” said Janati Atay, adding that the results could help deepen understanding of other magnetized objects such as black hole magnetospheres.
In the future, the team plans to check whether Vela produces higher energy emissions, and to search the galaxy for similarly powerful gamma rays around other relatively nearby pulsars.
Besides being incredibly bright, pulsars are also some of the densest objects in the known universe, with a tablespoon weighing as much as Mount Everest.
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