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Huge Matter/Antimatter Filament Detected

Credits

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
 
Video imagery:

  • Wide field optical image including pulsar J2030: NSF/AURA/Gemini Consortium
  • Optical and X-ray image of pulsar J2030 and filament: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Stanford Univ./M. de Vries; Optical: NSF/AURA/Gemini Consortium
  • X-ray image of pulsar J2030 and filament: NASA/CXC/Stanford Univ./M. de Vries
  • Optical and X-ray image of pulsar J2030 and filament: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Stanford Univ./M. de Vries; Optical: NSF/AURA/Gemini Consortium

Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak
Science review: Dr. Kelly Lepo
Education review: Jim Manning
Music from Music for Non-Profits
Transcript

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Telescope images of galaxies and planets. Galaxies in spiral and cloud shapes with diffused blue, green, red, orange and purple colors in a dark field of stars. Sphere shaped Jupiter covered in stripes of white and brown swirling clouds. Text, News from the universe. March 24, 2022. Huge matter slash antimatter filament detected. An image of deep space, bright points of stars shining among red clouds against a black background. Text, Scientist have detected relatively large amounts of antimatter, but its origin is an open question. On the image, a streak of purple appears diagonally downward from left to right. Some surrounding points of purple appear as well. Text, Nasa's Chandra X ray observatory has evidence of one possible source of antimatter, pulsars, the small, dense, spinning remnants of collapsed stars. The red background fades leaving only the purple areas. Text, X ray only. Chandra detected a filament of both matter and antimatter more than 40 trillion miles long, generated by a pulsar only 10 miles across.
 
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Pulsars' fast rotation and high magnetic fields lead to particle acceleration and high energy radiation, creating electron matter and positron antimatter pairs.
 
The red background returns to the image. Text, It appears that the magnetic fields of the pulsar and interstellar space connected, and particles from the pulsar leaked out, forming the filament.
 
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This news was brought to you in part by the Chandra X ray center in Cambridge Massachusetts.