- Published on 08 January 2016
In section 2. Astrophysical processes
Teraelectronvolt pulsed emission from the Crab Pulsar detected by MAGIC
The Crab Pulsar, born in 1054 AD during the supernova explosion in the Taurus constellation, is one of the brightest objects in the X-ray sky. Because of its brightness, the Crab is commonly used as a ruler by high-energy instruments, thereby measuring source brightness with the Crab as the unit. That the Crab is a pulsar means that a fraction of its emission is modulated at the neutron star spin period of 33 ms (30 turns per second), because of a lighthouse effect. Up to now, the pulsed signal from the Crab has been detected up to 400 GeV. Taking 320 hr of observing time on the Crab, the MAGIC collaboration was able to extend the detection of a pulsed signal by a factor of ~4 in energy, reaching 1.5 TeV. This detection sheds light on the emission mechanism of the pulsar and involves inverse Compton scattering of low-energy photons.