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Mithy is a pseudonym for a mature astrophysics undergraduate student living in the UK, fascinated by things in the night that go boom. He's owned by two adorable magnificent feline beasts (one of whom, called Mithras, you're now seeing in all his adorable fuzzy glory). His blog is one upright ape’s journey through this marvellous universe using his three weapons of choice: science, skepticism and snark
I’ve previously blogged about extreme particle acceleration producing gamma-rays in many different astrophysical contexts, including galactic binary systems & blazars, but I haven’t talked in any great depth about another source of extremely high energy particles: supernova remnants. The Crab Nebula: a typical supernova remnant (Image: NASA/STScI) A supernova remnant is the remains of a [...]... Read more »
To say that Eta Carinae is one of the most remarkable and marvellous stars in the sky is probably an understatement of hyperbolic proportions. It is one of the most fascinating objects in the universe. Not only is it one of the most massive stars in the Universe (weighing approximately 100 solar masses), it is also amongst the [...]... Read more »
In my last post on gamma-ray binaries, I mentioned that only a few of these exotic X-ray binaries (XRB) have been observed, and that they appear to fall into two distinct categories: microquasars, where the gamma-ray emission is caused by leptonic or hadroni particle interactions in the relativistic jet (Inverse Compton Scattering and Neutral Pion Decay respectively) and pulsar wind binaries. where the gamma-rays are [...]... Read more »
H.E.S.S. Collaboration,, Acero, F., Aharonian, F., Akhperjanian, A., Anton, G., Barres de Almeida, U., Bazer-Bachi, A., Becherini, Y., Behera, B., Bernlöhr, K.... (2010) Discovery and follow-up studies of the extended, off-plane, VHE gamma-ray source HESS J1507-622. Astronomy and Astrophysics. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015187
Google any of the myriad artists impressions of blazars and relativistic jets available online and they all share one common feature: the jet streams out helically from the central accretion disc/black hole region in a long thin straight line that would make any Roman road builder green with envy. For example (image: University of Michigan): Artists Impression of a [...]... Read more »
Raiteri, C., Villata, M., Bruschini, L., Capetti, A., Kurtanidze, O., Larionov, V., Romano, P., Vercellone, S., Agudo, I., Aller, H.... (2010) Another look at the BL Lacertae flux and spectral variability. Astronomy and Astrophysics. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015191
Looking up at the sky on any clear, dark, night, you can’t help but get a deep and often meaningful impression of the infinite voids of space. But in reality this is merely an illusion, as the universe is actually very, very crowded. I’m not talking about all the man-made space junk that we’ve launched [...]... Read more »
Chen, A., Piano, G., Tavani, M., Trois, A., Dubner, G., Giacani, E., Argan, A., Barbiellini, G., Bulgarelli, A., Caraveo, P.... (2010) Study of the gamma-ray source 1AGL J2022 4032 in the Cygnus region . Astronomy and Astrophysics. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015279
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