Mysterious' micro-quasar " produce gamma rays

Friday, November 27, 2009


Pic courtesy of astroversum.nl

After a search of several decades, astronomers have been able to confirm that a voracious stellar remnant x-rays that produces the origin of gamma radiation. Cygnus X-3, as the investigated object is called, consists of two different objects and has long been a mystery. It is assumed that the system is the dense remnant of a star - a black hole or a neutron star - that will contain "feeds" with a disk of material stolen from a companion star. The item now appears as a nearby laboratory, which can be done to study how particles in the largest black holes in the universe are in motion to serve.

The duo is at a distance of 30,000 light years from Earth and rotates once every 4.8 hours around each other. Cygnus X-3 emits X-rays here and now and then streams of material with the speed of light. The object is therefore also called a "microquaser" called, since in this area similar to quasars, galaxies which a super massive black hole in their nucleus. After the discovery of these "jets" in 1972 grew interested in the system soon and in the decades that followed, they found evidence that the object gamma rays with energies of trillions or even trillion electron volts produces.

The latter is confirmed, although the gamma radiation which is interrupted at one thousand times as energetic as previous measurements appears to be showed. The space telescopes AGILE and Fermi, who is of Italian manufacture, knew at different gamma ray observations of Cygnus X-3 to capture. It is currently unclear how these high-energy photons are produced. The radiation would be created when charged particles were accelerated by strong magnetic fields that envelop the stellar remnant. Another explanation is that the rays were created when electrons at light speed clashed with light from the companion star. Further research is inconclusive on this issue.

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