Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm just burnin' doin' the neutron dance.

This is SO cool:

Thanks to data from ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory, scientists have been able to locate where particles in the vicinity of the rotating neutron-star in the Crab Nebula are accelerated to immense energies.

The discovery put in place another piece of the puzzle in understanding how neutron stars work.

Rotating neutron-stars, or 'pulsars', are known to accelerate particles to enormous energies, typically one hundred times more than the most powerful accelerators on Earth, but scientists are still uncertain exactly how these systems work and where the particles are accelerated. A step forward in this understanding is now accomplished thanks to a team of researchers from the UK and Italy, led by Professor Tony Dean of the University of Southampton, who studied high-energy polarised light emitted by the Crab Nebula - one of the most dramatic sights in deep space.

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