The Crab Nebula, 6,500 light-years from Earth, is the remnant of a supernova explosion observed in 1054 by astronomers in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). It is the first supernova remnant identified by modern astronomers whose history can be clearly traced.
The body is one of the few energy sources measured in all energy bands: radio, infrared, optical, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma rays.
The discovery is based on observations made at China’s LHAASO (High Altitude Air Shower Observatory), the country’s leading science and technology infrastructure facility in Taoqing, southwest Sichuan Province.
Brightness measurements indicate a very high-energy particle accelerator in the core region of the Crab Nebula. Its size is about one tenth the size of the solar system.
The accelerator is capable of activating electrons 20,000 times more than the largest man-made particle accelerator on Earth. With this, it reaches the theoretical limits of classical electrodynamics and perfect hydrodynamics, said Cao Chen, senior researcher at LHAASO.
The study, led by the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was presented in the scientific journal Science.
Open image: Wikimedia
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