NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has observed a 40 trillion-mile-long matter and antimatter beam originating from PSR J2030+4415.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Wed, Mar 16 2022 4:22 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 12 2022 11:18 AM CDT

The star is a pulsar named PSR J2030+4415, and resides approximately 1,600 light-years from Earth.

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 02 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 9 IMAGES

The beam ejected from the pulsar extends 40 trillion miles and has been imaged by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The beam was first detected in 2020, but astronomers could not determine its full length as it extended past the bounds of the Chandra detector. The record-breaking beam is the longest spotted from originating from a pulsar.

"It's amazing that a pulsar that's only 10 miles across can create a structure so big that we can see it from thousands of light-years away. With the same relative size, if the filament stretched from New York to Los Angeles the pulsar would be about 100 times smaller than the tiniest object visible to the naked eye," said Martijn de Vries of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who led the study.

Researchers from the Chandra study of this pulsar believe that it and other similar pulsars may be responsible for creating the antimatter detected here on Earth by positron detectors. PSR J2030+4415 rotates three times a second, which, combined with its strong magnetic field, leads to particle acceleration and high-energy radiation, resulting in electron and positron pairs.

X-ray and optical views of the pulsar have been layered to produce the final image shown above. Full-size images of the pulsar and its matter and antimatter beam are available on the Chandra observatory website.

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 03 | TweakTown.com

X-ray & Optical (Wide Field)

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 04 | TweakTown.com

X-ray (Wide Field)

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 05 | TweakTown.com

Optical (Wide Field)

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 06 | TweakTown.com

X-ray & Optical (Inset)

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 07 | TweakTown.com

X-ray (Inset)

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 08 | TweakTown.com

Optical (Inset)

NASA has imaged a tiny star unleashing a 'gargantuan' antimatter beam 09 | TweakTown.com

X-ray (Full Field, Labeled)

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NEWS SOURCE:chandra.si.edu

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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