Friday, January 12, 2007

The Crusty Crab


A few months ago we saw spectacular video of the Crab supernova explosion. This new video shows the Crab pulsar imaged in X-rays by Chandra (blue) and in optical by the Hubble Space Telescope (red). The pulsar is a dynamic object with rings and jets of matter and anitmatter. The inner ring is about a light-year across.

Jennifer Ouelette has a nice post about history of the Crab. The pulsar's energy is focused on two twin jets. New observations announced at AAS tell us that the jets from are not quite symnetrical. The North jet is not the same as the South. Even before this new data, the very source of this immense energy was a mystery. "it's clear from these results," Jennifer writes, "the old bipole model just doesn't cut it."

The Crab is crusty from outer layers of pure neutrons, extremely dense and hard. A neutron star contains conditions that normal matter could not survive. What else could survive here? There is something even denser than neutrons. That object was there long before the Crab became a supernova, and even triggered the enormous explosion.

Neutrons spiralling into the Black Hole generate a huge amount of radiation. Spiralling charged particles produce a super-powerful magnetic field, forcing the escaping radiation into two jets. The Black Hole rotates independently of the pulsar, causing the two jets to exit away from the pulsar's rotation axis. The bright jets spin around like a police siren. As we have seen on Enceladus, the Northern and Southern jets would not be identical. Positively charged particles would be drawn into one jet and negatively charged particles would be drawn to the opposite jet. The combination of polar jets and a magnetic field is smoking gun evidence of a singularity.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was well impressed with your site, keep up the hard work!
_____________________________
http://www.austinshakespeare.org/Season/

9:24 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks, glad you like the visuals. Best wishes for the Shakespeare fest.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous paul valletta said...

Hi Louise, great images, but I must be something different?

I see a "raindrop" hitting a liquid like puddle?...I see no jets..I see a definite spherical ring on the right hand image?..this can be seen more clearly towards the video end, and when the video stops..there is a perfect "smoke_ring" like remnant at the core's inner edge?

This smoke_ring is clearly being spacially distributed vertically from the central core, impacting with the adjacent inner "doughnut" edge?

Can you clarify this, many thanks,paul.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous paul valletta said...

Sorry, just read the link by jennifer, and it appears this is exactly what is evident!..sorry, very interesting indeed.

2:44 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Nice hearing from you for whatever resaon, Paul.

9:59 AM  

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