YAHOO.COM - A NASA space telescope has captured a movie of a collapsed star that's spinning more than 11 times each second and unleashing ultra-fast particles that move at 70 percent of the speed of light.
The new video of the spinning Vela pulsar was recorded by the Chandra X-ray Observatory
shows a new look at the ultra-dense star, which is just 12 miles (19
kilometers) wide and located about 1,000 light-years from Earth. It
spews out a jet of charged particles along its rotation axis as it
"We think the Vela pulsar is like a rotating garden sprinkler — except with the water blasting out at over half the speed of light," researcher Martin Durant, of the University of Toronto in Canada, said in a statement.
Pulsars get their name
because they appear to pulse on and off as beams of light sweep across
Earth and then away. The Vela pulsar is a compact neutron star, a star that has collapsed so much that it is composed only of neutrons.
The Vela pulsar's jets look strikingly like a rotating helix and appear similar to those produced by accreting supermassive black holes in
other galaxies. But since the pulsar's jet is smaller, more quickly
changing and closer to Earth by comparison, it can be studied in much
great detail than jets from black holes.
The pulsar's jets are also
long, stretching out across about 0.7 light-years. One light-year is the
distance light travels in a single year, about 6 trillion miles (10
The new observations from the Chandra observatory (which were obtained between June and September 2010) suggest the Vela pulsar
may be slowly wobbling as it whirls around, Chandra scientists said. It
is possible that the neutron star is no longer a perfect sphere,
causing the wobble, they added. Such wobbling by a star is known as its
precession, and researchers said it could be caused when the Vela
pulsar's fast spin is compounded by intermittent boosts of increased
"The deviation from a perfect
sphere may only be equivalent to about one part in 100 million," said
George Washington University researcher Oleg Kargaltsev. "Neutron stars are so dense that even a tiny distortion like this would have a big effect."
If the distorted shape theory
is confirmed, the Vela pulsar would be the first neutron star ever seen
with such a feature, researchers said. Another idea suggests that the
magnetic field of the Vela pulsar, not its shape, may be the true
culprit behind the strange shape of the super-fast jets.
The research was presented
last week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach,
Calif., and detailed in The Astrophysical Journal.
The new Vela pulsar study
marked the second time astronomers have created a movie of the object's
strange jets using the Chandra observatory. A similar movie was recorded
in 2003, but was based on shorter observations that did not reveal the
pulsar's odd precession motion, researchers said.
Thursday, August 28 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:46:58 GMT
PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. >>
PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. For years, those already living on the sites leased the land from the State of Idaho, but the State was looking to sell. Residents already living on the sites showed up on Thursday to buy them back, and many were successful.
Friday, August 29 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:29:39 GMT
KHQ.COM - When Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, shared the news about her pregnancy with her son, Tré, she thought he would be thrilled. Instead, his reaction was a little different than expected. "This is exasperating!" Tré exclaimed. "Why you want to get another baby?...That doesn't make no sense!">>
KHQ.COM - When Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, shared the news about her pregnancy with her son, Tré, she thought he would be thrilled. Instead, his reaction was a little different than expected. "This is exasperating!" Tré exclaimed. "Why you want to get another baby?...That doesn't make no sense!" >>
Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:50:23 GMT
PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. >>
PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. People who have been leasing land from the state, some more than 40 years, will find out if they get to keep their property in an auction.Back in 2010, the State of Idaho decided to divest more than 300 lake lots on Priest Lake. >>