Crab Pulsar's high-energy beam surprises astronomers
Astronomers have spotted gamma ray emissions coming from the Crab Pulsar at far higher energies than expected. This challenges notions of how these powerful electromagnetic rays - like light, but far more energetic - are formed, researchers suggest in Science.
They found emissions at more than 100 gigaelectronvolts - 100 billion times more energetic than visible light.
...results from the Fermi space telescope suggested the Crab Pulsar might hold a surprise. Fermi only measures gamma rays up to an energy of 20 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), but there were hints in the data that the pulsar might have more energetic particles that were not being caught.
So Dr Otte and his colleagues turned to the Arizona, US-based Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (Veritas), which can measure far higher energies, and trained it on the pulsar.
They spotted gamma rays with energies of far more than 100 GeV, and there were further hints that there may be teraelectronvolt rays; that puts them nearly on a par with particle energies at the Large Hadron Collider.
Isn't this story indicative of modern science - they measured only what their instruments let them measure, and they hadn't a clue as to how enormously powerful the Crab Nebula beams could be.
But...their technical limitations never stop them from spinning out one bombastic, fanciful theory after another to account for "life, the universe, and everything". Even to the arrogant extent of sinking billions of dollars into the LHC project to try and isolate the "God particle".