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Space Science

Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula 123

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 BWJones ( 18351 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @07:48PM (#5521303) Homepage Journal
    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.

    Shoot, I found "cool" things as an adult when I decided that human vision was pretty damn facsinating. Integrating computer technology into the study of retinal vision is also compelling allowing us to discover what is going wrong in retinas of disorders that cause blindness. The "coolest" outcome would be finding a prevention for blinding diseases or even figuring out how to "cure" blindness or enhance existing vision.

  • by Tuxinatorium ( 463682 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @08:00PM (#5521348) Homepage
    Some of the signals lasted less than two nanoseconds, meaning the originated from a volume no bigger than beach ball. That is very presumptuous. There are ways to get around that. It would be possible for larger object to produce pulses much shorter than the time it would take light to travel the distance of its diameter. When a shockwave starts well below the surface of a sphere, and propagates uniformly along a fairly crisp expanding sphere, it could cause the surface to flare up briefly wherever it hits, and the radius of the affected area would expand faster than the speed of light because of the geometry of it. Something like that, only happening in a neutron star, could explain those kinds of pulses without the requirement that they occur in such a small volume.
  • by On Lawn ( 1073 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @08:34PM (#5521460) Journal
    Its a tough call. I was very interested in sports as a child, as well as the outdoors computers and cars. Nowadays sports has kind of dropped off the map. Astronomy, creative writing, physics and mechanical engineering have climbed. I've gone back and read Watership Down, and other books that were assigned to me in High School and now I love them.

    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. I'm going back and re-learning calculus for some fluid dynamics equations I used to know, and pounding out my old dynamics problems for kicks.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I didn't stick with them when things went hard, but I rekindled a interest in them when I got older. Me and school never really mixed very well.

    OnRoad []: JunkYard Wars meets SCCA racing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2003 @09:51PM (#5521699)
    It wouldn't create a two nanosecond pulse. You would see a ring who would star at the center of the star and would move outward. If you have a star with a radius of .03 seconds(like a neutron star) you would get a pulse of .03 seconds out of it

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court