Most energetic particles ever from a celestial object

Fermi's Large Area Telescope has recently detected two short-duration gamma-ray pulses coming from the Crab Nebula, which was previously believed to emit radiation at very steady rate. The pulses were fueled by the most energetic particles ever traced to a discrete astronomical object. (Image courtesy NASA/ESA.)

Our last story was about crabs, so is this one. I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to work in lobsters soon too. From the Stanford Linear ACcellerator Lab (SLAC):

Fermi’s Large Area Telescope Sees Surprising Flares in Crab Nebula

Menlo Park, Calif.—The Crab Nebula, one of our best-known and most stable neighbors in the winter sky, is shocking scientists with its propensity for fireworks—gamma-ray flares set off by the most energetic particles ever traced to a specific astronomical object. The discovery, reported today by scientists working with two orbiting telescopes, is leading researchers to rethink their ideas of how cosmic particles are accelerated.

“We were dumbfounded,” said Roger Blandford, who directs the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, jointly located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. “It’s an emblematic object,” he said. The Crab Nebula, also known as M1, was the first astronomical object catalogued in 1771 by Charles Messier. “It’s a big deal historically,” Blandford continued, “and we’re making an amazing discovery about it.”

Blandford was part of a KIPAC team led by scientists Rolf Buehler and Stefan Funk that used observations from the Large Area Telescope, one of two primary instruments aboard NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, to confirm one flare and discover another. Their report was posted online today in Science Express alongside a report from the Italian orbiting telescope Astro-rivelatore Gamma a Immagini LEggero, or AGILE, which also detected gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula.

The Crab Nebula, and the rapidly spinning neutron star that powers it, are the remnants of a supernova explosion documented by Chinese and Middle Eastern astronomers in 1054. After shedding much of its outer gases and dust, the dying star collapsed into a pulsar, a super-dense, rapidly spinning ball of neutrons. The Crab Nebula’s pulsar emits a pulse of radiation every 33 milliseconds, like clockwork.

Though it’s only 10 miles across, the amount of energy the pulsar releases is enormous, lighting up the Crab Nebula until it shines 75,000 times more brightly than the sun. Most of this energy is contained in a particle wind of energetic electrons and positrons traveling close to the speed of light. These electrons and positrons interact with magnetic fields and low-energy photons to produce the famous glowing tendrils of dust and gas Messier mistook for a comet over 200 years ago.

The particles are even forceful enough to produce the gamma rays the LAT normally observes during its regular surveys of the sky. But those particles did not cause the dramatic flares.

Each of the two flares the LAT observed lasted a few days before the Crab Nebula’s gamma-ray output returned to more normal levels. According to Funk, the short duration of the flares points to synchrotron radiation, or radiation emitted by electrons accelerating in the magnetic field of the nebula, as the cause. And not just any accelerated electrons: the flares were caused by super-charged electrons of up to 1015 electron volts, or 10 quadrillion electron volts, approximately 1,000 times more energetic than the protons accelerated by the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, the world’s most powerful man-made particle accelerator, and more than 15 orders of magnitude greater than photons of visible light.

“The strength of the gamma-ray flares shows us they were emitted by the highest-energy particles we can associate with any discrete astrophysical object,” Funk said.

Not only are the electrons surprisingly energetic, added Buehler, but, “the fact that the intensity is varying so rapidly means the acceleration has to happen extremely fast.” This challenges current theories about the way cosmic particles are accelerated. These theories cannot easily account for the extreme energies of the electrons or the speed with which they’re accelerated.

The discovery of the Crab Nebula’s gamma-ray flares raises one obvious question: how can the nebula do that? Obvious question, but no obvious answers. The KIPAC scientists all agree they need a closer look at higher resolutions and in a variety of wavelengths before they can make any definitive statements. The next time the Crab Nebula flares, the Fermi LAT team will not be the only team gathering data. They’ll need all the help they can get to decipher the mysteries of the Crab Nebula

“We thought we knew the essential ingredients of the Crab Nebula,” Funk said, “but that’s no longer true. It’s still surprising us.”

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was constructed through an astrophysics and particle physics partnership developed by NASA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the United States. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory managed construction of the LAT and now plays the central role in science operations, data processing and making scientific data available to collaborators for analysis.

SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

-30-

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54 Responses to Most energetic particles ever from a celestial object

  1. John Kehr says:

    I so enjoy the unexpected discoveries in science. It does cross my mind that an increase in cosmic rays could cause increased cloudiness, especially since the sun is being quiet.

    Way out on a limb with no support… if the light from the star blowing reached the Earth in 1054, then there should have been an extended period of increased cosmic rays. Interesting that the Earth did start cooling right arround that period.

  2. the_Butcher says:

    “We thought we knew the essential ingredients of the Crab Nebula,” Funk said, “but that’s no longer true. It’s still surprising us.”

    Well durr, you know only 0,01% of the universe.

  3. petrossa says:

    Problem ofcourse is timescale. No matter what we capture has no real meaning because it doesn’t exist anymore for a long long time. Our models based on it are therefore quite arbitrary. For all we know the universe ceased to exist long time ago and the background noise that reaches us still will dissipate in a few hundred billion years more.

    All we have to show for it is a mess of interdependent calculations that by sheer coincidence seem to work because they ‘confirm’ what we see. But since what we see isn’t sure what is happening the calculations are bound to be right as long as they work out.
    The chances they reflect ‘reality’ are infinitesimally small. Not that it matters since the chances we’ll be around another million years are zero.

    Big fun to play with huge machines though.

  4. Grey Lensman says:

    Oh my god, the astronomers are dumbfounded yet again.

    It can only happen if their models fail to predict what they see

    Could it be that their models are wrong as well?

  5. David L says:

    Since you mentioned lobsters, I searched the Internet for effect of AGW on lobsters. Some older hits show that AGW is causing both huge lobsters and killing lobsters. Once again, any and all observations can be attributed to AGW.

  6. Jimmy Haigh says:

    “Though it’s only 10 miles across, the amount of energy the pulsar releases is enormous, lighting up the Crab Nebula until it shines 75,000 times more brightly than the sun. ”

    This puts things into perspective.

  7. Mick says:

    ‘ These electrons and positrons interact with magnetic fields and low-energy photons to produce the famous glowing tendrils of dust and gas Messier mistook for a comet over 200 years ago.’

    Messier did not mistake the ‘Crab Nebula’ for a comet, he created the Messier list so that in future, he and others would not mistake these ‘fixed’ misty patches for comets and waste time tracking them night to night to see if they moved against the background stars.

  8. “The discovery of the Crab Nebula’s gamma-ray flares raises one obvious question: how can the nebula do that? Obvious question, but no obvious answers.”

    One obvious answer is maybe it always does that!
    Maybe at times when our suns activity falls to such a low state (like it has been recently) that it allows more cosmic rays to reach the Earth, therefor more phenomena like this can be easily detected & observed from Earth.

    Someone Give S.E.T.I a ring!

  9. James Barker says:

    10 miles across, how many manhattans is that?

  10. B.C. says:

    10 miles across, how many manhattans is that?

    It depends on how tall the glasses are. ;-)

  11. Neal Asher says:

    Ah well, the thousand-year war out there is heating up as the Prador deploy their gamma-ray weapons.

  12. beng says:

    Maybe alittle infalling matter made it to the surface to cause the flares. Would most of the energy output of the neutron star travel outward along the magnetic poles & form jets? Seems I’ve seen time-elapse films (Hubble?) of small “jets” extending out each end of the star.

  13. mike g says:

    “We were dumbfounded,” said Roger Blandford…

    Ever heard that from a climate “scientist”?

  14. ShrNfr says:

    For those so inclined here is a link to a picture of the Lobster Nebula: http://cosmicphotos.com/gallery/image.php?fld_image_id=155&fld_album_id=11

  15. Tom_R says:

    The X-ray photo of the Crab Nebula is spectacular, and you can see just where the pulsar is from it:

    http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2002/0052/0052_xray_widefield.jpg

  16. PJB says:

    The search for knowledge is part of our innate need to explore our surroundings. The cognitive bias that develops once we “believe” in a paradigm or a dogmatic interpretation is our greatest impediment to understanding.

    btw I trust that the search for earth-impacting objects (and not just particles) continues as I see those asteroids and comets as a much greater threat to our civilization than any amount of climate change.

  17. Kevin Kilty says:

    These electrons and positrons interact with magnetic fields and low-energy photons to produce the famous glowing tendrils of dust and gas Messier mistook for a comet over 200 years ago.

    Messier cataloged his list of objects to avoid misidentifying and waste time investigating these as comets.

  18. kuhnkat says:

    Party time for EU theory!!

  19. Alan F says:

    Just wondering how many consensus were tipped over by this discovery…

  20. WilliMc says:

    Very Interesting. What was the source for the electrons? And another dumb question, if it is permitted, if neutrons from our sun are so difficult to detect from failing to interact with what ever is employed to detect them, how are they able to concentrate and turn so fast?

  21. Ric Locke says:

    the_Butcher: You don’t have anywhere near enough zeroes after that decimal point.

  22. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 1:40 am
    Oh my god, the astronomers are dumbfounded yet again.

    It can only happen if their models fail to predict what they see

    Could it be that their models are wrong as well?

    Dude, it’s probably a mini black hole, sucking things in with irresistible gravity. Isn’t that the usual explanation for masses of high-energy being emitted from somewhere in space?

  23. ge0050 says:

    “The discovery of the Crab Nebula’s gamma-ray flares raises one obvious question: how can the nebula do that? Obvious question, but no obvious answers.”

    How about: dark matter + dark energy = electromagetism

  24. FrankK says:

    John Kehr says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Way out on a limb with no support… if the light from the star blowing reached the Earth in 1054, then there should have been an extended period of increased cosmic rays. Interesting that the Earth did start cooling right arround that period.
    ======================================================
    A long limb John!
    If cosmic rays are assumed to travel at the speed of light then they would have left the Crab Nebula 6296 light years (check the WolframAlpha site) before the Crab was observed in 1054 !!

  25. Mike D. says:

    Could it be that “heavy” elements like iron and nickle are in the core of the neutron star? As they are in the core of the Earth — and the Sun, according to certain astrophysicists.

  26. “The Crab Nebula, and the rapidly spinning neutron star that powers it

    Could this be the neutron star?

    And interestingly, if you read down to the bottom, it seems to provide a mechanism for “flabergasting” high-energy particles.

    Nah. Couldn’t be that easy. The Crab Nebula has got to be organized around an incredibly dense star made of neutrons (which the laws of atomic physics indicate, in the absence of protons, repel each other with tremendous force) / neutronium spinning fast, 30.2 complete revolutions per minute, but not in any way flying apart.

    That’s the sensible, reasonable explanation.

  27. “Could it be that “heavy” elements like iron and nickle are in the core of the neutron star?”

    No possible way. Assuming the standard model of pulsars is correct, and that a hypothetical neutron star is the cause of them, the idea is that it is so dense that even protons don’t exist, much less free electrons. Just neutrons packed close together to form “neutronium”.

    If that is all true, there’s no room at the core for elements, as such, and that would imply that the core was less dense than the outer parts of the neutron star. It is already highly dubious, to my mind, how this theoretical entity could withstand:

    1. Neutrons being packed in such density, without protons, and not repelling each other
    2. The rotational velocity (up to several revolutions per second) not causing the star to fly apart .

    But even by the standard theory of pulsars and neutron stars, it wouldn’t have elements in the core because the core is far, far too dense to allow for them.

  28. “up to several revolutions per second” should have read “up to several hundred revolutions per second”

  29. SpringwaterKate says:

    FrankK says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    John Kehr says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Way out on a limb with no support… if the light from the star blowing reached the Earth in 1054, then there should have been an extended period of increased cosmic rays. Interesting that the Earth did start cooling right arround that period.
    ======================================================
    A long limb John!
    If cosmic rays are assumed to travel at the speed of light then they would have left the Crab Nebula 6296 light years (check the WolframAlpha site) before the Crab was observed in 1054 !!

    If the cosmic rays created by the explosion travel near (probably just a bit less than) the speed of light, then those cosmic rays and the visible light (photons) that allowed the supernova to be observed by Chinese astronomers would have reached the earth at roughly the same time.

  30. Brian H says:

    Willi;
    Look up the difference between neutrons and neutrinos.

    MikeD;
    Think of the neutron star as one big nucleus, of the element Crabanium.

  31. Sully says:

    Put down that gamma ray generator, Junior. How many times have I told you not to play with Daddy’s tools?

  32. James F. Evans says:

    Electric fields accelerate charged particles. This is a well known fact as demonstrated in plasma laboratories, the world over.

    Synchrotron radiation is evidence of electrons being accelerated by electric fields and being constrained within a magnetic field.

    That is how Synchrotron radiation is caused in plasma laboratories, here, on
    Earth. In a synchrotron machine, appropriately enough.

    That is how the Large Hadron Collider accelerates electrons to high velocity, here, on Earth.

    The fact that electric fields are not mentioned in the above post is demonstrative of the crisis in “modern” astronomy.

    “We were dumbfounded,” said Roger Blandford, who directs the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.

    This “surprise” which has been repeated so many times since the advent of space telescopes that observe the full electromagnetic wave spectrum in high resolution, from radio wave to gamma ray, reveals the arrogance that these “dumbfounded” scientists display when they claim they “know” how the Universe started.

    This demonstrates how bogus the “big bang” paradigm really is.

    Just how many times do these scientists need to be “dumbfounded” before they admit they have no clue how the Universe started?

    Hard to tell, because so many applecarts are at stake.

  33. ShrNfr says:

    Interestingly enough the pulsar in the Crab is also a visible light pulsar. I have no explainaiton other than the jets from the poles lighting up the gas in the area.

  34. jorgekafkazar says:

    mike g says: ” ‘We were dumbfounded,’ said Roger Blandford…Ever heard that from a climate ‘scientist’?”

    Sure. “We were dumbfounded at how the general public didn’t swallow our latest poopaganda. Obviously, we need to train more poopaganda journalists.”

  35. Howling Winds says:

    Christoph Dollis:

    I believe the Doomsday Machine in the original Star Trek was made out of “pure neutronium”!

  36. vigilantfish says:

    John Kehr says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Way out on a limb with no support… if the light from the star blowing reached the Earth in 1054, then there should have been an extended period of increased cosmic rays. Interesting that the Earth did start cooling right arround that period.

    ————–

    It is my understanding that the Medieval Warm Period was probably peaking around that time, having begun around 950 and ended around 1300. Probably no link to Crab Nebula events.

  37. Paul Vaughan says:

    “This challenges current theories about the way cosmic particles are accelerated.”

    Always refreshing to see observation afforded due respect.

  38. Werner Brozek says:

    “We thought we knew the essential ingredients of the Crab Nebula,” Funk said, “but that’s no longer true. It’s still surprising us.”

    What refreshing honesty!!

    I now wish some leading warmists will say: “We thought we knew the essential ingredients of GLOBAL WARMING, but that’s no longer true. It’s still surprising us.”

    But come to think of it, some came close in their private emails!

  39. Tom_R says:

    >> Christoph Dollis says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    It is already highly dubious, to my mind, how this theoretical entity could withstand:

    1. Neutrons being packed in such density, without protons, and not repelling each other
    2. The rotational velocity (up to several revolutions per second) not causing the star to fly apart .
    <<

    1. Neutrons have no charge and would not repel each other.

    2. For simplicity, assume a 1 solar mass (2*10^30 kg) neutron star with a radius of 10 km rotating 1000 times per second.

    The velocity at the surface is 10^7 m/sec.

    The kinetic energy at that velocity = .5 * 10^14 (J/kg) * m.

    The gravitational potential energy is -GMm/r = 133 * 10^14 (J/kg) * m.

    So the gravitational potential is 266 times the rotational kinetic energy. Even from gravity alone it won't fly apart. This does not factor in the effect of the strong nuclear force, which also hold it together.

  40. “1. Neutrons have no charge and would not repel each other.”

    What?

    The quarks carry charge.

    Neutron-Neutron

    4. The first match up places the down quarks opposed to each other and the up quarks are also opposed. This alignment results in maximum electrical repulsion, and thus no stable particle can form.

    No Electrical Attraction – Maximum Electrical Repulsion

    5 & 6. Now rotate the upper neutron by one quark to the left or right and two pairs of quarks align but two down quarks are still situated next to each other. The two down quarks repel resulting in electrical instability for the particle.

    Thus, two neutrons are unstable electrically at both the macro and micro levels.

    [Comments and corrections recommended. 8<) Robt]

  41. Christoph Dollis:

    I believe the Doomsday Machine in the original Star Trek was made out of “pure neutronium”!

    Really? Cool! I was mostly into the series for the phasers, fist fights, and hot multi-ethnic chicks.

    Mmmmmm. Green.

  42. “[Comments and corrections recommended. 8<) Robt]"

    I'm open to any comments and correction, but my understanding is two neutrons don't like to stay together, absent protons, for that reason.

  43. beng says:

    ******
    ShrNfr says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Interestingly enough the pulsar in the Crab is also a visible light pulsar. I have no explainaiton other than the jets from the poles lighting up the gas in the area.
    ******

    It’s visible because it’s still young (for a neutron star) & hot — white-hot. Much hotter than the sun’s surface. As a result, its thermal radiation peaks in the far UV & that ionizes any surrounding matter & causes it to fluoresce. The gamma-ray flares, however, can’t be from the nominal heat, there must’ve been some kind of brief disturbance — matter crashing into the surface, or maybe some kind of super magnetic-field eruption.

    ******
    Mike D. says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Could it be that “heavy” elements like iron and nickle are in the core of the neutron star? As they are in the core of the Earth — and the Sun, according to certain astrophysicists.
    ******

    Couldn’t be, that why it’s a neutron star, all the various nuclei & electrons have been crushed down to neutrons. That’s what a neutron is — a proton & electron crushed together by tremendous forces.

    From what I’ve read tho, there should actually be a thin layer of hyper-compressed iron on the surface where the pressure is zero (tho the gravity is obviously humongous). Not sure how or why.

  44. Tom_R says:

    >> Christoph Dollis says:
    January 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm
    <<

    Interesting speculation, but it neglects to explain that a neutron will spontaneously decay into a proton + electron + antineutrino. The reason you don't have n-n pairings is becase when n-n is created it will immediately decay into n-p, it's not because the neutrons repel each other. Likewise, you get temporary p-p pairings, thats what proton-proton fusion is all about.

    In a neutron star, the neutrons won't decay; electrons cannot be created because doing so would violate the Pauli exclusion principle.

  45. Werner Brozek says:

    “Christoph Dollis says:
    January 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Thus, two neutrons are unstable electrically at both the macro and micro levels.”

    It is more complicated than that. I will use H2O as an analogy. The bond between H and O is NOT ionic, but it IS polar covalent. It forms a triangle with an angle of 104.5 degrees between the H’s and O. The H’s are partly positive and the O is partly negative. The individual H2O molecule is neutral and stable since it does not fly apart at normal atmospheric temperatures. So it it stable at the micro level. Now as you know, water vapor molecules condense to form liquid water and when this happens, the partly positive hydrogen atom from one H2O gets attracted to the partly negative oxygen end of the next molecule. The resulting hydrogen bonds make water stable at the macro level.
    Neutrons are a bit more complicated since isolated neutrons have a half life of about 15 minutes. However they too have 2 down quarks, each with a charge of – 1/3 and 1 up quark with a charge of +2/3 to give a net charge of 0. And when two neutrons are together, it is my understanding that the up quark from one neutron can be attracted to the down quark of the next neutron to produce a strong nuclear force.
    If the above explanation needs some expansion or tweaking, go ahead.

  46. kuhnkat says:

    Tom_R,

    “In a neutron star, the neutrons won’t decay; electrons cannot be created because doing so would violate the Pauli exclusion principle.”

    We still need that physical mechanism for getting all those neutrons together in the first place. Could you help us out with the explanation? I always have a good laugh when I hear it!!

  47. Okay, yes, Tom, good point. I was mistaken. That explanation doesn’t say why neutrons “repel each other”, but it does say why neutron-neutron pairs are unstable, causing them to decay, as you have pointed out into a protron-neutron-electron.

  48. Floyd says:

    “Most of this energy is contained in a particle wind of energetic electrons and positrons traveling close to the speed of light.”

    Free electrons in motion are the very definition of an electric current, correct? But I must be missing something because, of course, electric currents cannot exist in space.
    On Earth, an electric current is defined as a flow of charged particles. Why should this definition not apply to a flow of charged particles in space?

  49. Tom_R says:

    >> kuhnkat says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

    We still need that physical mechanism for getting all those neutrons together in the first place. Could you help us out with the explanation? I always have a good laugh when I hear it!! <<

    The core of a pre-neutron star is mostly iron nuleii and free electrons. Fusion of elements heavier than iron requires energy. The minimum size of the core is limited because of electron degeneracy (a combination of the Pauli exclusion principle and the uncertainty principle), so it can't contract further. Consider it an electron lattice with nucleii moving freely through the lattice.

    Once fusion halts, there is no outward radiation pressure to balance gravity. Fusion continues in a shell surrounding the core, and additional iron nucleii and electrons continue to increse the size and mass of the degenerate core. Once the core reaches a high-enough mass, the gravitational collapse of the core overcomes the degeneracy, forcing the electrons to combine with protons to form neutrons. This reaction takes energy out of the electron cloud, reducing the allowable size and accelerating the neutronization of the core, which happens pretty-much instantaneously. The sudden massive release of neutrinos blows away the outer part of the star in a supernova explosion, and the core remains as a neutron star.

    A 10 km sphere has room for non-degenerate electrons, and presumably there are a small percentage of electrons and protons mixed in the neutron star.

  50. George E. Smith says:

    Why is such an “important” discovery couched in “chamber of commerce” flowery language and superlatives. “75,000 times more brightly than the sun.”

    They did say “energetic particles”.

    I understand particle and energy, so why don’t they say the emitted particles have an energy of 10^19 eV or whatever their number is, so ordinary people can understand what the heck they are talking about ?

    I seem to remember once seeing a rather famous Cosmic Ray track in a stack of photographic emuslions, that somebody disected, and accounted for all the energies of every side track on those plates, and came up with something like 10^19 eV for the total CR energy of the original primary particle. Somebody suggested, that it might have been a bolt off an ancient intergalactic space ship floating around that crashed into the stack of plates. No I don’t think they were serious about that; but it was an impressive ploughed furrow of garbage on that photograph. Yes I studied CRs in a past life; and just about everything else in between; and down to, but not including DC (you do need to be able to turn the power on or off.)

  51. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” On Earth, an electric current is defined as a flow of charged particles. Why should this definition not apply to a flow of charged particles in space? “””””

    Well Floyd, not exactly. An electric current is defined as a flow of “electric charge”.

    Nobody gives a hoot about the particles; and due to an accident of definition, the most common electric current has the current (charge) flowing in the opposite direction to the particles (electrons).

    It’s like that silly question; How come there is a lot more “Matter” in the Universe, than “Anti-matter” ?

    Well what kind of idiot would call the surviving species “anti-matter” instead of just calling it “matter” ? The winners always make the rules, and matter won over anti-matter.

    Somebody rubbed some amber or silk the wrong way, and charge got misdefined; and nobody bothered to fix it so that electrons and charge could go the same way. Well then protons would be in a fix wouldn’t they !

  52. Tom_R says:

    >> George E. Smith says:
    January 10, 2011 at 10:49 am

    It’s like that silly question; How come there is a lot more “Matter” in the Universe, than “Anti-matter” ?

    Well what kind of idiot would call the surviving species “anti-matter” instead of just calling it “matter” ? The winners always make the rules, and matter won over anti-matter.
    <<

    I believe the question is why there's an inbalance at all.

    … or did I miss the sarcasm?

  53. Jim G says:

    Put this with the long list of other items not explained by present theory, ie the fine structure constant no longer constant but differs by where one looks in space/time, the change in weight of the proton, the potential solutions to quantum gravity using time as a constant at high energy levels ( or alternatively allowing light speed to vary at high energy levels) the unexplainable larger than theory allows stars that have been found, the transmutating neutrino, and we have evidence that in physics we most certainly do not yet have all of the answers even in well accepted theories like relativity which have been observationally proven in many ways yet do not fit with quantum mechanics which has also been observationally proven in many cases.

    God is laughing at us.

  54. Charon says:

    So, electrons are accelerated.
    In the nebulas magnetic field.

    They can’t figure out how the particles are accelerated.

    If only electric phenomena were possible in space, but they are not, because the standard consensus says so.

    Oh well.

    Anyone who doesn’t mind blasphemy:
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/
    :P

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