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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.


For More Information

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/odd-couple.html


Credits

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
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. However, each image should be credited as indicated above.

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10798

Mission:
Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Data Used:
Fermi

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

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

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