Feeds

Scientists spot pulsar with 4 magnetic poles

Double bubble

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The 209th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle has been entertained by the news that the neutron star within the Crab Nebula may have twice the normal complement of magnetic poles, the BBC reports.

The nature of the star's radio pulse emissions leads the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to conclude that it possibly has four magnetic poles. Depending on a pulsar's orientation to Earth, its rotation and said emissions issuing forth from the poles will allow detection of one or two pulses. Where two are detected, as is the case in the Crab Nebula, the emissions from the north and south poles should be identical.

In the case of this particular neutron star, however, scientists detected a main pulse, occasionally producing "enormously strong pulses" dubbed "megapulses", and an "interpulse" which were "dramatically different in their profiles".

Tim Hankins, acting director of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, explained: "We think we've got a much more complicated magnetic field than the simple dipole model. What we think is that there is another pole, possibly with a partner, that is influencing and distorting the magnetic field."

The four-pole theory is based on the fact that, although the team has spotted just one extra pole, it will likely have an opposite.

The Crab Nebula pulsar was created as a result of a supernova explosion on 4 July 1054 (AD). Professor Hankins pointed out that the explosion may have been "very asymmetric", adding: "Any models you see of supernova explosions are incredibly convoluted. It just doesn't go down as sphere and rebound as a nice sphere. The magnetic pole is frozen in so it gets all mixed up as well." ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.