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More Images: Tiny Star Unleashes Gargantuan Beam of Matter and Antimatter
X-ray & Optical Images of J2030
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Stanford Univ./M. de Vries; Optical: NSF/AURA/Gemini Consortium)
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These images show the pulsar known as PSR J2030+4415 in X-rays from Chandra and optical light from the Gemini telescope in Hawaii. The mid-range field of view shows about one third the length of an extremely long filament, or beam, from the pulsar detected in Chandra data (compare with the full field image, left). The close-up image shows where the X-rays are created by particles flying around the pulsar itself. As the pulsar moves through space at about half a million miles an hour, some of these particles escape and create the long filament. This beam may help explain the surprisingly large numbers of positrons, the antimatter counterparts to electrons, scientist have detected at Earth.



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