Ep 33: Very Rare Gamma Ray Binary System Observed

Astronomers using NASA's Fermi and Swift Space Telescopes observe and record very rare gamma ray fluctuations from a binary companion in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Published by Tony Darnell on 14th Nov, 2016

Download all visuals discussed in the podcast.

A search for binary stars that emit gamma-rays using NASA’s Fermi satellite turned up a luminous object in another galaxy. These objects are characteristically variable.

Using additional telescopes including the SWIFT X-Ray telescope and numerous ground based telescopes the team investigated the intriguing source known as LMC P3. One star in the system is tremendously hot (60,000 degrees F or 33,000 degrees C)! There are tremendous particle winds and also electron winds that produce the varying radiation observed.

Join Tony Darnell and Carol Christian as they discuss with Robin Corbet and Joel Coley (University of Maryland and Goddard Space Flight Center) along with Malcolm Coe (U of Southhampton) and Laura Chomiuk (Michigan State) their ideas for this investigation, how they found the object and what the observations from multiple observatories tells them about this exotic object.

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