Crab nebula outbursts shock astronomers | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Crab nebula outbursts shock astronomers

Spacecraft detect powerful gamma-ray flares from a supernova remnant known for its steady glow

3:32pm, December 7, 2010

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Astronomers consider the Crab nebula one of the steadiest sources of high-energy radiation in the universe. Radiation from the supernova remnant is believed to be so constant that astronomers use it as a standard candle with which to measure the energetic radiation of other astronomical sources.

That’s why researchers are astounded that two spacecraft recently recorded giant gamma-ray hiccups from the Crab, the remnants of a stellar explosion 6,500 light-years from Earth that was observed by humans in 1054. The intensity

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content