Stellar Odd Couple Makes Striking Flares

Every 3.4 years, pulsar B1259-63 dives twice through the gas disk surrounding the massive blue star it orbits. With each pass, it produces gamma rays. During the most recent event, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observed that the pulsar's gamma-ray flare was much more intense the second time it plunged through the disk. Astronomers don't yet know why.

For the B1259 binary animation, go here.

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Walt Feimer (HTSI): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Animator
Francis Reddy (SPSYS): Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Video Editor
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Narrator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
Aous Abdo (George Mason University): Scientist
Francis Reddy (SPSYS): Writer
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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. However, each image should be credited as indicated above.

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Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

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This item is part of these series:
Narrated Movies
Astrophysics Stills
Astrophysics Features

Goddard TV Tape:
G2011-075 -- Odd Couple Binary

SVS >> Gamma Ray
SVS >> Neutron Star
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Pulsar
SVS >> Edited Feature
SVS >> Fermi
SVS >> Binary Star
DLESE >> Narrated
SVS >> Star
NASA Science >> Universe