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Antimatter,which annihilates matter upon contact, seems to be rare in the universe. Still,for decades, scientists had clues that a vast cloud of antimatter lurked inspace, but they did not know where it came from. Themysterious source of this antimatter has now been discovered — stars getting rippedapart by neutron stars and blackholes. Whileantimatter propulsion systems are so far the stuff of science fiction,antimatter is very real.
Allelementary particles, Antimatter - Various - Hard & Core Will Dominate The World (File) as protons and electrons, have antimattercounterparts with the same mass but the opposite charge.
For instance, theantimatter opposite of an electron, known as a positron, is positively charged. Whena particle meets its antiparticle, they destroy each other, releasing a burstof energy such as gammarays. Ingamma ray detectors flown on balloons detected a type of gammaray emerging from space that is known to be emitted when electrons collide withpositrons — Antimatter - Various - Hard & Core Will Dominate The World (File) there was antimatter in space. Thesegamma rays apparently came from a cloud of antimatter roughly 10, light-yearsacross surrounding our galaxy's core.
This giant cloud shines brightly withgamma rays, with about the energy of 10, suns. Whatexactly generated the antimatter was a mystery for the following decades. Suspects have included everything from exploding stars to darkmatter.
Their new findingssuggest these positrons originate mainly from stars getting devoured by blackholes and neutron stars. Asa black hole or neutron star destroys a star, tremendous amounts of radiation arereleased. Just as electrons and positrons emit the tell-tale gamma rays uponannihilation, so too can gamma rays combine to form electrons and positrons, providingthe mechanism for the creation of the antimatter cloud, scientists think. Theresearchers calculate that a relatively ordinary star getting torn apart by ablack hole or neutron starorbiting around it — a so-called "low Jez Dior - The Funeral X-ray binary" — could spewon the order of one hundred thousand billion billion billion billion positrons a 1 followed by 41 zeroes per second.
These could account for a great deal ofthe antimatter that scientists have inferred, reducing or potentiallyeliminating the need for exotic explanations such as ones involving darkmatter. Weidenspointner,Skinner and their colleagues, detailed their findings in the Jan. Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest Youre My Best Friend - Gaspard Oil - Rocketbahn, night sky and more!
And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community space. Looping eruptions on the Sun, like this one on July 24,create antimatter. Earth is shown for size comparison. What it is Allelementary particles, such as protons and electrons, have antimattercounterparts with the same mass but the opposite charge.
Billions and billions Theresearchers calculate that a relatively ordinary star getting torn apart by ablack hole or neutron starorbiting around it — a so-called "low mass X-ray binary" — could spewon the order of one hundred thousand billion billion billion billion positrons a 1 followed by 41 zeroes per second.
Nowthat they have witnessed the death of antimatter, the scientists hope to see itsbirth.
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