Most energetic radiation ever

Scientists discovered the most energetic radiation originated in a neutron star that lies in the very center of the supernova remnant known as the crab nebula. The ultra-relativistic photons were dicovered using the Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC), which is a ground gamma-ray telescope located in the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain.

The Crab Pulsar

The pulsar was produced in a supernova explosion that was observed from earth on the year 1054 AD. The pulsar is located at the center of a magnetized nebula in the direction of the constellation of Taurus.

The relativistic energies and radiation are emitted in the light spectrum from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. It is 20 km in diameter and rotates at a rate speed of 33 milliseconds.

The magnetic field surrounding this star is strong enough to act on the energy charges and induces them to spiral at the same rate of speed as the stellar surface or magnetosphere. Its rotation creates intense electric fields that knock out electrons, creating beams of radiation that are received on earth at time intervals.

The discovery

In 2011, using MAGIC observatory, scientists discovered unexplained energetic photons, which were measured with precision. It was observed that the energies incremented above the TeV energies, which resulted in higher energies that the previously known for this type measurements, in discrepancy with what is known to be occurring in neutron stars.

To be able to accelerate electric particles to high energies and to escape the absorption of the star´s magnetic field, photons must have been produced away from the pulsar´s surface; however, It was observed that the ultra-relativistic beams arrived in synchronicity with the radio and X-ray beams, suggesting that the entire spectrum of radiation might be originated from a rather small region.

MAGIC telescope

This is an observing piece of equipment equipped with two 17 meter Cherenkov telescopes. This telescope can detect cosmic gamma rays in the energy ranges of 25 GaV to 30 TeV. The telescope is intended to study radiation originating from supernova remnants, black holes, pulsar, X-ray binaries, gamma ray bursts and other energetic sources.