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Fraser
2006-Mar-02, 06:26 PM
SUMMARY: ESA astronomers have witnessed something very unusual; a pulsar crashing through a ring of gas surrounding a companion star. As the pulsar passed through ring, it lit up the area in gamma and X-rays, visible to ESA's XMM-Newton observatory. This companion star is several times more massive than our own Sun, and rotates so quickly that it's constantly spewing material out into a ring of gas. The pulsar goes through this ring twice during its 3.4-year elliptical orbit

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/psr_b1259-63_be_star.html)
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Jerry
2006-Mar-09, 09:18 PM
Tracing the rise and fall of X-rays and gamma rays day after day as the pulsar dug through the Be star's disk, the scientists could conclude that the wind of electrons at an energy level of 10-100 MeV is responsible for the observed X-ray light. (1 MeV represents one million electron volts.)

Although 10-100 MeV is energetic, this is about 1000 times less than the expected energy level of 100 TeV. Even more puzzling is the multi-TeV gamma-ray emission, which, although surely emanating from the 10-100 TeV wind electrons, seems to be produced differently to how it was thought before.

Not the clearest wording, but there seems to be a descrepancy between the energy of the collision and the energy of the resulting gamma rays.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-09, 09:30 PM
Not the clearest wording, but there seems to be a descrepancy between the energy of the collision and the energy of the resulting gamma rays.

I can't tell if it is a science writer having trouble, or a language translation problem. A 100 MeV electron is a million times less energetic than a 100 TeV gamma ray (not a thousand).