MAGIC Telescope Finds Microquasar

June 6, 2006
MAGIC Telescope Finds Microquasar
The MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov) telescope is located in the Canary Islands. (Winston Ko/UC Davis photo)

The variable emission of high-energy gamma rays from a variable microquasar within our galaxy has been detected by the MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov) telescope located in the Canary Islands. The object is the first seen to fluctuate in the high-energy gamma spectrum, said Daniel Ferenc, professor of physics at UC Davis and a member of the MAGIC scientific team.

The microquasar LS I +61 303 probably consists of a normal star and an extremely dense object, either a black hole or a neutron star, Ferenc said. As the stars orbit each other every 26 days, matter is pulled from the regular star and spirals towards the other object. Jets of particles traveling at nearly the speed of light are blasted out as the material collapses in the gravitational field.

The MAGIC telescope measured gamma rays coming from the microquasar over about six months. New light detection technology allowed MAGIC to measure the microquasar's activity continuously during several 26-day orbits, despite the presence of moonlight. The brightest emissions occurred a few days after the point when the star and the black hole were closest together.

The results will help physicists understand how microquasars and quasars emit gamma rays, Ferenc said.

The MAGIC telescope, inaugurated in 2003 at La Palma in the Canary Islands, looks for objects that emit high-energy gamma rays from deep in the universe. It detects gamma rays by picking up the flashes of light given off as the rays hit the atmosphere.

The MAGIC team includes 130 scientists from nine countries. Ferenc's laboratory at UC Davis, including research fellows Daniel Kranich and Alvin Laille, has worked on camera design, mirror control and developing new types of photosensors for MAGIC and for a second telescope now under construction at the same site, as well as for the next generation of very large neutrino telescopes.

Eckart Lorenz, visiting professor at the Swiss Federal Institute for Research and a leader of the MAGIC project, also is an adjunct professor at UC Davis. The research was recently published online in Science Express.

Source: UC Davis

Explore further: MAGIC discovers variable very high energy gamma-ray emission from a microquasar

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not rated yet Oct 12, 2007
The idea of space having unusual properties is not new to anyone who has read the materials typically censored out of the mainstream science publcations -- ie, the materials which flatly contradict Einstein's relativity and the "big bang" creationist theories. For example, the early ether-drift experiments of Dayton Miller, whom nearly nobody knows about, got very positive results, as did Michelson himself, along with about a half-dozen others, including into more recent years. But none of it is tolerated and the researchers are treated quite badly. See my paper "A Dynamic and Substantive Cosmological Ether" posted to the given weblink... The primary scientist who proposed such things in the 1950s was imprisoned with his books burned. Today much contempt and arrogant censorship typifies the orthodox reaction to such empirical findings, as with the "Axis of Horror" -- mainstream cosmology and astrophysics is literally "lost in space" without a clue. New findings like the one reported here continue to speak that space has substance, but the most simple explanations will require a whole generation of old professors to retire before they are given some open tolerance.

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