The Crab Nebula is spitting out radiation at incredibly high energies even if it exploded a thousand years ago. Astronomers found record-breaking energetic photons that are coming from it and these were clocking it at up to 450 trillion electron volts, according to the latest reports coming from Science Alert.
Previously, the highest energy photon that has been ever detected was of 75 trillion electron volts or teraelectronvolts (TeV).
This is the very first time when astronomers detected such high energy photons – known as gamma rays – over 100 TeV.
The detection was made at ASgamma – this is a facility that is run by China and Japan together in Tibet.
“Back in 2014, it was upgraded to add underground water Cherenkov muon detectors; since then, they have made 24 gamma-ray detections between 100 and 450 TeV. For context, particles from the Sun are usually below 1 billion electronvolts, or GeV,” according to the online publication.
“This is the very first but a great step forward,” according to physicist Jing Huang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Huang continued and explained that “It proves that our techniques worked well, and gamma rays with energies up to a few hundred TeV really exist.”
The gamma rays have been traced back to the Crab Pulsar
When the gamma rays were traced back to their source they seemed to point straight to the Crab Nebula which is a supernova remnant which is located 6,500 light-years away with the pulsing remains of a dead star in the center- the Crab Pulsar.
This is said to be one of the most famous dead stars in the Milky Way because it was the first in which a supernova remnant – which is the nebula itself – was traced to the observations of a supernova.
It was also assumed that the object actually acts as a particle accelerator which is far more powerful than anything we could build here on Earth. The gamma rays that have just been discovered could be proof of this.
We recommend that you head over to Science Alert and read their complete article for more exciting details on the subject.
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