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Crab pulsar beams most energetic gamma rays ever detected from a pulsar


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Drieske

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Geplaatst op 07 oktober 2011 - 15:16

Crab Pulsar Beams Most Energetic Gamma Rays Ever Detected from a Pulsar

Astrophysicists have detected pulsed gamma-ray emission from the Crab pulsar at energies far beyond what current theoretical models of pulsars can explain.


With energies exceeding 100 billion electron-volts (100 GeV), the surprising gamma-ray pulses were detected by the VERITAS telescope array at the Whipple Observatory in Arizona and reported by an international team of scientists in a paper in the October 7 issue of Science. Corresponding author Nepomuk Otte, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said that some researchers had told him he was crazy to even look for pulsar emission in this energy realm.

"It turns out that being persistent and stubborn helps," Otte said. "These results put new constraints on the mechanism for how the gamma-ray emission is generated."

Otte, Andrew McCann of McGill University in Montreal, and Martin Schroedter of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory performed most of the analytic work for the study, which involved nearly 100 scientists in the VERITAS collaboration. VERITAS spokesperson Rene Ong, professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA, credited Otte as the leading advocate for using the powerful gamma-ray observatory to study the Crab pulsar.

"To me it's a real triumph of the experimental approach, not going along with the flow and making assumptions, but just observing to see what there is. And lo and behold, we see something different than what everybody expected," Ong said.


Lees verder: http://www.scienceda...11006141358.htm

Bron: University of California - Santa Cruz
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