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Space Science

Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula 123

Posted by timothy
from the only-the-really-active-beachballs dept.
Stranger4U writes "Researchers at New Mexico Tech and the NRAO have used the Aricebo radio telescope in Puerto Rico and some specilized equipment to more closely examine the pulses from the Crab Nebula pulsar. Some of the signals lasted less than two nanoseconds, meaning the originated from a volume no bigger than beach ball. Stories are here(1) and here(2)."
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Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula

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  • by SegaVegas (653741) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @05:27PM (#5521026)
    there's a lack of information to back this story up
  • by FFtrDale (521701) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @05:30PM (#5521045)
    In Story (1), Romani says,
    "but if the 'coolness' of seeing ultra-bright beachball-sized plasma clouds thousands of light years away captures some young person's imagination and encourages them in technical pursuits, that's a good day's work."
    How many of us spent years studying difficult topics in technical fields and learned how to do things because of the "coolness" of some things that we saw as children? I'm guessing that there are a lot of us for whom that was a big motivation for sticking with it when things got hard.

  • I thought... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wes Janson (606363) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @05:39PM (#5521084) Journal
    That something so small and so massive would have gone ahead and collapsed into a black hole. Were there multiple beachballs per supernova?
  • Re:Actually.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @05:55PM (#5521134) Journal
    So, you you're saying that it isn't beachballs in space?

    Actually THEY are saying that is SEEMS TO BE beachballs in space. But they need more evidence. And need to test it more. But it looks like beachballs in space. But they can't rule out other stuff yet.

    That is very different than "it IS beachballs in space". Its a matter of degrees of confidence.
  • by idlethought (558209) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @06:25PM (#5521232)
    Perhaps it's the implication that there's still cool stuff to discover, rather than the idea that all the stuff worth discovering has is already available found. I was born after the moon landing. Although I know that it was more important than the Columbia's first space flight, it was seeing the space shuttle land for the first time that made me really feel that space flight was cool. Well, that and Star Wars.
  • by g4dget (579145) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @09:03PM (#5521736)
    First of all, it is only "nearly imperceptible subpulses" that are 2ns short, so we are not talking about the entire energy output of the pulsar.

    But just as importantly, all that this seems to tell you is that the region from which these subpulses come is less than 2ft thick along the line from here to there, it tells you much less about its area. So, perhaps this is just the signal you see when looking straight at the neutron star and something happens on a surface pacth. The patch could have a much larger diameter than 2ft.

  • by c4thy (224077) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:47PM (#5522285) Homepage
    With sensitive new equipment, astronomers studying radio emissions from a fast-spinning star have detected what they say are the smallest structures found so far in deep space.

    i thought blackholes were the smallest detected structures found in deep space?

  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday March 16, 2003 @09:25AM (#5523410) Homepage

    In school, they couldn't get me to touch a bunch of these subjects but for some reason now that I'm an adult I find them much more fascinating.

    That's just because modern 'education' has a way of taking anything fascinating and dissecting it into a small pile of dessicated lifeless chunks. While a few teachers here and there manage not to do this, it's all on their own, and they have to swim upstream in order to do it.

    It's mostly a question of getting enough of the excellent teachers early enough to avoid being turned off on the subject. Otherwise, it takes years to get over it enough to approach the subject again on it's own merits.

    I'm convinced that if the authors of great literature were resurrected and forced to sit through an average high school lit class studying their own works, they wouldn't even recognize them.

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