Observatories combine to crack open the Crab Nebula

May 10, 2017 by Ray Villard, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
An image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant that was assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credit: NASA, ESA, NRAO/AUI/NSF and G. Dubner (University of Buenos Aires)

Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves seen by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to the powerful X-ray glow as seen by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. And, in between that range of wavelengths, the Hubble Space Telescope's crisp visible-light view, and the infrared perspective of the Spitzer Space Telescope.

The Crab Nebula, the result of a bright seen by Chinese and other astronomers in the year 1054, is 6,500 light-years from Earth. At its center is a super-dense neutron star, rotating once every 33 milliseconds, shooting out rotating lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and light—a pulsar (the bright dot at image center). The nebula's intricate shape is caused by a complex interplay of the pulsar, a fast-moving wind of particles coming from the pulsar, and material originally ejected by the supernova explosion and by the star itself before the explosion.

This image combines data from five different telescopes: The VLA (radio) in red; Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared) in yellow; Hubble Space Telescope (visible) in green; XMM-Newton (ultraviolet) in blue; and Chandra X-ray Observatory (X-ray) in purple.

The new VLA, Hubble, and Chandra observations all were made at nearly the same time in November of 2012. A team of scientists led by Gloria Dubner of the Institute of Astronomy and Physics (IAFE), the National Council of Scientific Research (CONICET), and the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina then made a thorough analysis of the newly revealed details in a quest to gain new insights into the complex physics of the object. They are reporting their findings in the Astrophysical Journal.

This video starts with a composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant that was assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The video dissolves to the red-colored radio-light view that shows how a neutron star's fierce "wind" of charged particles from the central neutron star energized the nebula, causing it to emit the radio waves. The yellow-colored infrared image includes the glow of dust particles absorbing ultraviolet and visible light. The green-colored Hubble visible-light image offers a very sharp view of hot filamentary structures that permeate this nebula. The blue-colored ultraviolet image and the purple-colored X-ray image shows the effect of an energetic cloud of electrons driven by a rapidly rotating neutron star at the center of the nebula. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. DePasquale (STScI)

"Comparing these new images, made at different wavelengths, is providing us with a wealth of new detail about the Crab Nebula. Though the Crab has been studied extensively for years, we still have much to learn about it," Dubner said.

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26 comments

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baudrunner
1 / 5 (5) May 10, 2017
The nebula's intricate shape is caused by a complex interplay of the pulsar, a fast-moving wind of particles coming from the pulsar, and material originally ejected by the supernova explosion and by the star itself before the explosion.

This incredible image just became my desktop background. Correct me if I'm wrong - and good luck with that - but this description of the composition of this supernova suggests to me that a good deal of this display is from light that has traveled much faster than c, since apparently we are still receiving light from that star from before it went nova.
RNP
5 / 5 (9) May 11, 2017
@baudrunner
...a complex interplay of the pulsar, a fast-moving wind of particles coming from the pulsar, and material originally ejected by the supernova explosion and by the star itself before the explosion.


...this description of the composition of this supernova suggests to me that a good deal of this display is from light that has traveled much faster than c, since apparently we are still receiving light from that star from before it went nova.


I think you have misread the sentence. Its says that the interplay is between particles coming from the pulsar and *material* previously ejected from the star and supernova.

N.B. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) May 11, 2017
Fascinating and beautiful. The Chandra image seems to show a series of spirals in a disk-like formation around the remnant, with a jet emerging along the axis of the disk. The lobes of the cloud appear to extend along this axis. This is a really stunning image, and I can see why astrophysicists expect to find out a lot about the dynamics of the system from all this data.
somefingguy
1 / 5 (3) May 11, 2017
N.B. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

Well, you say that. First of all, the speed of light is actually the speed of causality; light just happens to travel at that speed.
We also can't know 100% that this speed limit cannot be broken, since our grasp on the nature of reality is still pretty dismal; despite the wealth of knowledge we already posses.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) May 11, 2017
Meh, consideration of conservation laws tells you nothing can go faster than light. If it did, it would disappear, and violate all of them. And if something going faster than light slowed down, it would appear out of nowhere, with the same result.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (5) May 11, 2017
All lit up by synchrotron radiation from the passing superwave of cosmic radiation ejected from our galactic core which passed by Earth 11-12 Kyrs ago during the last ice age.
krzychu01230
1 / 5 (1) May 12, 2017
About c limit, quantum entanglement isn't example of over c speed phenomenon? And what about solar system stability in context of gravity c delay, slingshot effect shouldn't destabilize planets orbits?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) May 12, 2017
quantum entanglement isn't example of over c speed phenomenon?

No it is not, as no information is transmitted.
idjyit
not rated yet May 12, 2017
As far as I can find there is no "spooky" action at a distance with "entanglement" all it means is two photons encoded with information at the source.

If you "Read" one particle you affect it's information therefore breaking the "entanglement" the other particle still retains the original information, otherwise it would be useless for information passing.

Everyone should stop talking about action at a distance in regards to photon entanglement because there is none.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) May 12, 2017
As far as I can find there is no "spooky" action at a distance with "entanglement" all it means is two photons encoded with information at the source.

If it were that simple then stuff like this
https://en.wikipe...periment
wouldn't happen.
If the information were fully encoded then the results would be the same no matter whether you erase the which-way information or not. But sincde the results differ 'spooky action' is real.

idjyit
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2017
Thanks for the link, I'll have to chew on it for a while.

"A double slit with rotating polarizers can also be accounted for by considering the light to be a classical wave.[6] However this experiment uses entangled photons, which are not compatible with classical mechanics."

The above statement Intrigues me, I wonder how they justify the interference pattern at all without the classical wave.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) May 12, 2017
@idjyit, you should check out quantum optics experiments starting with the Afshar proof of Bell's Inequality and moving on to the DCQE of Scully. There is stuff happening there that simply isn't explainable as classical physics of any kind. The results indicate that random results of measurements come out with correlations that cannot exist without entanglement. Classical physics simply cannot explain them period.
idjyit
not rated yet May 12, 2017
Thanks for the links, but I stand by my statement, no information is passed and no effect is reflected...

"Entangled "particles" are emitted in a single event. Conservation laws ensure that the measured spin of one particle must be the opposite of the measured spin of the other, so that if the spin of one particle is measured, the spin of the other particle is now instantaneously known"

I don't have a problem with the above statement, but I do with the following sentence ...

"The most discomforting aspect of this paradox is that the effect is instantaneous so that something that happens in one galaxy could cause an instantaneous change in another galaxy."

That statement is simply false, if you change the phase of photons by changing polarisation then the interference pattern will change, the particles are not "entangled" and the result is perfectly understandable without entanglement.
idjyit
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2017
If the second statement were true, then the entangled photons would instantly reflect any changes in the partner, causing the same interference result everytime. The fact that it doesn't proves entanglement is a myth.
idjyit
1 / 5 (1) May 12, 2017
The interference pattern is easily explainable because of the different trajectory lengths of photons traveling through the two slits, one (lets say the odd lengths) cause phase cancellation the even lengths cause phase addition.
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2017
If entanglement were a myth then Bell's Inequality would not be violated.

It's useless to argue with experimental results. It is what it is.
idjyit
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2017
I'm not arguing about the experiments (None of which talk about spooky action BTW), I'm arguing against people inferring results that are not apparent in any of the experiments.

Bells Inequality ...
"No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics."

There are no hidden variables, just conservation of energy.
Everyone seems to be assuming they know what entanglement means, when it's obvious they do not.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (2) May 17, 2017
N.B. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
False. Google "Cherenkov radiation".

You are dangerously close to perpetuating pseudo-science. What do you base your claim on? Do you have proof?

Furthermore, the star that went supernova can be clearly seen at the center of the image. Also, take a look at this article..

https://www.extre...g-faster

Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) May 17, 2017
"Spooky action at a distance" isn't something experiments talk about. They demonstrate it. It's on you to recognize it.

Correct, there are no hidden variables. More precisely, there are no local hidden variables, but global hidden variables remain a possibility. See Bohm's interpretation, the TIQM, and Wheeler-Feynman Absorber Theory.

If you know so much about entanglement, how about if you describe it.
idjyit
1 / 5 (1) May 18, 2017
Show me the experiments that prove changing a particles qubit value actualy reflects the exact same change in the remote entangled particle. Even one experiment.

Good luck :-)
Ojorf
5 / 5 (1) May 18, 2017
Show me the experiments that prove changing a particles qubit value actualy reflects the exact same change in the remote entangled particle.


Of course there are none, that would imply a ftl transfer of information. It has nothing to do with entanglement, or the fact that entanglement is real but cannot be explained by classical physics.

How do you understand entanglement?
Could you describe a hypothetical experiment that would tell the difference between "hidden variables" and "quantum entanglement"?
idjyit
not rated yet May 18, 2017
In todays world Entanglement is the term used to copy information into two or more quantum particles.
With the real world purpose of transferring and copying data.
Hopefully using more than one bit per particle, hence giving data compression at a fundamental level.
Generally applied to photons. with the hope of increasing computing power and data transmission speeds.
idjyit
not rated yet May 18, 2017
The link posted by antialias is a perfect example for an experiment ...
https://en.wikipe...periment

If entanglement had hidden variables and both particles reacted, then the image would always have the interference pattern the fact that it smudges depending on polarization proves there are no hidden variables local or otherwise.

The only hidden variables I know of are dark matter and dark energy, they are postulated on observation but so far unknown in any physical measurement sense.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) May 18, 2017
Show me the experiments that prove changing a particles qubit value actualy reflects the exact same change in the remote entangled particle. Even one experiment.

Good luck :-)
@Ojorf has it. What you're talking about isn't entanglement. Once you change the value of one of an entangled pair you've decohered it and it's no longer entangled, and any strong measurement of the entangled value will do that.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) May 18, 2017
Incidentally, in my post above I confused Afshar with Aspect. My bad.
idjyit
not rated yet May 18, 2017
So where is the spooky action at a distance you claim experiments have proven ??

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