Khoa họcTin tức

Rays of matter and antimatter span 40,000 billion miles

NASA astronomers discovered the pulsar star PSR J2030+4415, which produces a long beam of matter and antimatter never seen in the universe.

A streak of matter and antimatter is ejected from pulsar PSR J2030+4415.  Photo: NASA

A streak of matter and antimatter is ejected from pulsar PSR J2030+4415. Photo: NASA

In a press release on March 14, NASA likened giant beams of light to “cosmic hairs”. It was first discovered in 2020, but at the time, researchers were unable to determine its full length, as it stretched beyond the edge of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Additional observations made between February and November 2021 revealed the structure stretched to 40,000 billion miles, three times larger than originally thought.

This size turns the “cosmic hair” into the longest beam of matter and antimatter from the pulsar as seen from Earth. Pulsating stars are dense neutron stars, usually formed after a supernova event when a massive star collapses, compressing matter in its core. Because the pulsar retains most of the angular momentum of its original star, while its radius shrinks to a fraction of it, the pulsar has a very high rotational speed.

“It’s amazing how a pulsar only 10 miles in diameter can create a structure so large that it can be seen from thousands of light years away. In comparison, if a cosmic hair were to stretch from New York to Los Angeles, the pulsar, PSR J2030+4415, would be approx. 100 times smaller than the smallest object visible to the naked eye,” said study lead author Martijn. de Vries at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA, says.

PSR J2030+4415 is located about 1,600 light-years from Earth and rotates around its axis at three revolutions per second. This mysterious object, along with its giant cosmic hairs, promises to help astronomers solve long-standing questions about the origin of antimatter in the Milky Way.

NASA speculates that pulsars release positrons, the antiparticles of electrons (with the same mass but opposite charge), into our galaxy. The combination of the two characteristics – fast rotation and a strong magnetic field – causes particle acceleration and high energy radiation, creating a pair of electrons and positrons.

As it travels through interstellar space at about half a million miles per hour, the pulsar creates winds behind it. These winds are made up of charged particles that are usually confined to the pulsar’s strong magnetic field. moves along the front of the pulsar, similar to the body of water in front of a moving boat. However, some 20 to 30 years ago, this shock movement seemed to have stalled and the PSR J2030 +4415 followed suit. The collision then likely led to a particle leak, where the magnetic field of the pulsar wind is linked to the interstellar magnetic field, allowing high-energy electrons and positrons to be ejected into space via jets formed by association with galaxies.

Details of this study have been published in the journal astrophysics Astrophysics Journal.

Doan Duong (Based on Sci-News/NASA)

You are reading the article Rays of matter and antimatter span 40,000 billion miles

at – Source: – Read the original article here

Back to top button