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January 10, 2011

Powerful Gamma-Ray Flares from the Crab Nebula

Scientists Rolf Buehler and Stefan Funk discovered two short duration but powerful gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula. These flares only lasted a few days but they were shockingly energetic and occurred extremely rapidly. According to the report, "the pulses were fueled by the most energetic particles ever traced to a discrete astronomical object." These flares are single-handedly challenging current theories about the way cosmic particles are accelerated and will hopefully lead to new discoveries. Read this article for more information.


Posted by ccastel at January 10, 2011 02:59 PM


This is really interesting! I think it's amazing that this nebula has been catalogued for so long, yet nothing close to these events have yet been observed. I know we haven't learned much of anything about nebulas yet but I got a little confused. There's other nebulas visible from Earth, so why is this one so special? Is it the first of its kind to emit such flares or is this just a case unique to the nebula itself?

Posted by: ecfo at January 28, 2011 08:18 PM

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