February 2nd, 2013 19:51 EST
NASA Observes Strange Behavior From Distant Star
"The oddities in life on this planet make us look at them and shake our heads and laugh but when the oddities happen in the wild black yonder of space happen, scientist quickly grab their telescopes and note pads to try to form hypothesis as to what the heck is really going on here." (Anselm, R.)
And in this case with what NASA has recently discovered; the old nursery rhyme we grew up with signing with our first grade classmates would now be "Spinning, Spinning Little Star."
NASA has recently stumbled onto a very out of the ordinary little star some 3,000 light years away has taken on a very distinct personality of its own, it is doing what is known to scientists as flipping between emitting strong X-rays and emitting intense radio waves. (nasa.com)
This type of activity is baffling scientists as to what the heck is really going on here. This is the first time that NASA scientists have seen a star pulsating from radio waves to variability X-rays as well. It`s almost like the little star is playing head games with NASA.
Wim Hermsen of the Netherlands Institute for Space Research and the University of Amsterdam and who is very baffled about this activity commented on it by saying, "When we look now to what is so far published in papers, nothing at this moment can explain what is happening." (Hermsen, W.)
Scientists are trying to go back in past research to see if there are any notes or documentation of anything like this happening in the past and as you see with the comment by Wim Hermsen there is virtually nothing documented in the past of any star behaving like this.
Scientists are forming reasons as to what might be causing the start to emit radio waves and X-rays waves and one hypothesis is that there may be changes in the spinning stars magnetosphere or its overall magnetic environment which could be the trigger behind the switches. The problem with this hypothesis is that scientist don`t have a lot of past research on this and with that, this is poorly understood.
Hermsen also added to his last comment, "The people creating models will have to rethink what we are discovering here. (Hermsen, W.) When scientists discover new information especially new information about space they create models of what they discovered to try to understand it fully. In this case the scientist that will be creating models on this little mysterious spinning star will definitely have to sit down, hold a ton of project meeting, brainstorm ideas and come up with a model that will probably out of the ordinary as to the behavior of this little spinning star.
The spinning star is known as PSR B0943+10. The five million year old star is as quick as a mouse running through a maze because every 1.1 seconds it whips though its complete rotation. This is very slow to scientists so instead of a mouse on a ton of caffeine whipping through the maze to scientists this little star would be the same as a mouse that just ate a ton of cheese with a full little belly trying to whip through the maze as fast as it can. The star is a little slower than other stars of this type when it comes to spinning though its complete rotation.
The radio pulsars of PSR B0943+10 change as quickly as every second it emits one. It also emits a weak X-ray signal as charged particles radiate along magnetic lines and bombard the magnetic poles. (nasa.com)
When the star emits the radio pulses and then the X-Ray pulses Hermsen and his team where surprised to see that the switched between giving off not only strong radio pulses but the X-ray pulses were even stronger. The window of time frame between the switches took place from every half an hour to about every five to six hours.
Ben Stappers who is with the University of Manchester`s School of Physics and Astronomy, commented on this by saying, "The behavior of this pulsar is quite startling. It`s as if it has two distinct personalities. PSR B0943+10 is one of the few pulsars also known to emit X-rays, finding out how this higher energy radiation behaves as the radio changes could provide new insight into the nature of the emission process." (Stappers, B.)
Scientists continue to observe PSR B0943+10 activities and have also observes that the quick switches between radio and X-ray brightness may be linked to implies large changes in the magnetosphere. Some scientists are speculating that the change in the radio brightness may be linked to the spin rate of the star. Older research suggests the radio waves vary with physical processes at the microscopic level, but the new findings challenge that. (X-ray brightness is even less understood because so few pulsars are visible in that wavelength.) (nasa.com)
Hermsen and his team plan to look at other spinning stars to try to compare activity and data to try to form the opinion as to why PSR B0943+10 is behaving this way. Comparing past data and future data will also give scientists a chance to discover new and wonderful things about space and spinning stars they never knew existed.
So, as the popular nursery goes, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star " has now become in this case, "Spinning, Spinning, Little Star" scientists continue to try to find out the reason why this little star keeps switching between radio and X-ray pulses. The little star has a distinct personality of its own and is taking on behavior almost like it is sitting up there in space and laughing at NASA scientists saying, "Ha, ha, ha, I got bored sitting up here alone and spinning like a top out of control and thought I would have a little fun and mess with your minds! I know why I am acting like this but as the Rubics Cube genius once said, It`s for you to figure out!"
Elizabeth Howell, SPACE.com Contributor, Weird Spinning Star Defies Explanation.
(http://www.livescience.com/26583-weird-pulsar-defies-theories.html). Retrieved 2013.
Update on my current manuscript " I have received my raw form back from my publisher of my manuscript on my next book titled, Our Grand Ol` National Past Time. I have almost finished implementing my edits to it and then I will send it back to the Project Management team to have a final look at it before it goes to the next phase of the publishing process which is the Layout Process. Keep your eye out for the release date of my book so you can buy your copy of it. I will update everyone once I know from my publisher. You think the little star in my above article is spinning out of control? Just wait until you buy your copy of my book and read about how Nolan Ryan`s curve ball spun out of control in excess of over 85 M.P.H. and baffled hitters like they were the NASA scientists baffled about the little star spinning out of control.