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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Odd Couple Binary
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 4:00AM
Produced by - Robert Crippen
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