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Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the only-the-really-active-beachballs dept.

Space 123

Stranger4U writes "Researchers at New Mexico Tech and the NRAO have used the Aricebo radio telescope in Puerto Rico and some specilized equipment to more closely examine the pulses from the Crab Nebula pulsar. Some of the signals lasted less than two nanoseconds, meaning the originated from a volume no bigger than beach ball. Stories are here(1) and here(2)."

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this story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521005)

has been n00bified

Re:this story (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521112)

..is not about runny ass eggs.i still want em in me!

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521006)

i doubt it, but why not?

n00bified (-1, Troll)

SegaVegas (653741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521014)

u r n00bified

Obligatory quote from Spies Like Us... (-1, Redundant)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521008)

"You know what one of those things will do? Suck the paint off your house and give your family a permanent orange afro..."

How about MY balls? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521010)

Slap you in the face with my dick, and stick my balls in your mouth.
That's right
Choke on a nut hair.

yay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521019)

Coming soon from Tecmo: Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball [doaxbv.com] Crab Nebula edition!

So that's where my beach ball went... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521020)

I was playing with my beach ball, and all of a sudden it was gone. I should've known that crab on the beach was the one that took it. Now where the hell is his nebula?

Re:So that's where my beach ball went... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521058)

teee heeeeee

Re:So that's where my beach ball went... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521127)

<em>I was playing with my beach ball, and all of a sudden it was gone. I should've known that crab on the beach was the one that took it. Now where the hell is his nebula?</em>

<flashback type="bad">
Well, I was playing with my beach ball, and, like, all of a sudden, my beach ball crashed, so I, like, had to get another one, but it wasn't as good. So I bought a Mac.
</flashback>

Re:So that's where my beach ball went... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521136)

Maybe it was that same beach vacation where you got those nebulous crabs. VDs can cause selective amnesia, y'know...

Re:So that's where my beach ball went... (1)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521166)

Gee, I thought the Real Thief was Leonard "J." Crabs [somethingawful.com]

Re:So that's where my beach ball went... (1)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521732)

You know, this could all be some weird time dialation that makes it seem a lot quicker than it is...

Re:So that's where my beach ball went... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521803)

what about a really huge beach ball? like one of those 72 inch ones?

Sputnik? (2, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521023)

little sputniks?

Sputniks from Little Green Men? (1)

Ardias (544478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521490)

Thinking of the Little Green Men hypothesis which was once proposed to explain why pulsars are so regular?

is that really true??? (0, Insightful)

SegaVegas (653741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521026)

there's a lack of information to back this story up

Re:is that really true??? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521125)

A lack of substantiating imformation in a non-technical article is hardly surprising. However, I don't see anything too questionable in the articles. If you don't doubt that they managed to detect 2ns pules, then it is reasonable to suggest that it originated from within a very small volume.

Though, I now wonder why they would say that it originated from an area 2 feet in diameter. An area two feet in radius makes more sense to me.

Re:is that really true??? (1)

Stranger4U (153613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521171)

I would have added the Nature link to the article, but the registration process is invasive and a pain.

NOT the first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521034)

but more like the...tenth?

Ads (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521036)

Why the heck am I seeing ads for Windows XP and Office XP at the top??? I thought this was Slashdot? Advertising for software that you constantly bash into the ground? What a bunch of hypocrites.

MS money is as good as any other money (-1, Flamebait)

SegaVegas (653741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521040)

slashdot is a buisness, d00d

Re:Ads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521065)

Why the heck am I seeing ads for Windows XP and Office XP at the top??? I thought this was Slashdot? Advertising for software that you constantly bash into the ground? What a bunch of hypocrites.

slashdot has never, ever trashed Microsoft. Many of the PEOPLE who post here do, but many others mod them down. slashdot just puts up the news and articles, and does not censor the comments.

You must be new here. Comments like yours are a dime a dozen here, and all incorrect.

Re:Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521075)

slashdot has never, ever trashed Microsoft.

You must be new here.

Re:Ads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521082)

slashdot has never, ever trashed Microsoft.

Ahahahahahah! That's the funniest thing I've heard all year! AHahahahahahahahahahahh! You've got to be kidding!!??? Taco, Hemos, CowboyNeal, all of them take jabs at Microsoft every chance they get. You're a fscking idiot.

Re:Ads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521115)

You're a fscking idiot.

Thats scandisking idiot to you bub.....

And Slashdot, as a publication/website, isn't anti-ms. speaking out on their policies, or the editors having opinions doesnt make someone 'anti-MS'. I mean, think about it, if they WERE trying anti-MS, MS would not advertise here, and my god, do they ever advertise here!

I love Intel's processors, but will still jab them for stupid shit, like serial numbers on p2s, and blocking smp on celerons. Same for other companies and/or persons.

critical != anti

Re:Ads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521145)

if they WERE trying anti-MS, MS would not advertise here

Sure they would!! MS has all kinds of money to throw around. What better way to destroy an anti-MS site than to buy advertising banners and have them placed on the site.

All the anti-MS sentiment on that site then becomes, as I said before, hypocritical.

I bet you wont find an MS banner on www.gnu.org

Actually.... (3, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521038)

The article clearly states:

Although it is premature to discount all other possibilities, Kern told UPI, "for now it looks as though the mechanism we propose is probably correct."

"The interpretation here looks appealing," he told UPI, "although further predictions and tests will have to be made for it to carry the day."


It article seems a bit more reserved than the editor posting it. An interesting read tho.

Re:Actually.... (1)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521122)

It article seems a bit more reserved than the editor posting it. An interesting read tho.

So, you you're saying that it isn't beachballs in space?

Re:Actually.... (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521134)

So, you you're saying that it isn't beachballs in space?

Actually THEY are saying that is SEEMS TO BE beachballs in space. But they need more evidence. And need to test it more. But it looks like beachballs in space. But they can't rule out other stuff yet.

That is very different than "it IS beachballs in space". Its a matter of degrees of confidence.

Re:Actually.... (4, Funny)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521151)

That is very different than "it IS beachballs in space". Its a matter of degrees of confidence.

Only on /. would you find two individuals arguing the degree of confidence in the belief of beachballs in space.

for those who's never seen it... (5, Informative)

rexguo (555504) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521039)

here's a pic of the Crab nebula: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap991122.html

Good pic for those who's already seen it... (1)

FFtrDale (521701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521099)

I've seen pictures of it since I was a child, but your reference is better. I like the concise explanation of the colors in the photo, too. Masses, speeds and ongoing processes - Thanks!

Re:Good pic for those who's already seen it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521199)

You're welcome. Now here [tubgirl.com] is a picture of a different type of heavenly body.

Re:Good pic for those who's already seen it... (0, Offtopic)

bluxus (657798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521255)

That is nice! I've seen it and often wondered; Is it sculpture, or the real thing? I mean, you can see what looks like the end of a tube used in one of those super fun home enema kits, but gosh, the preassure involved must be terrible. Something about the inverted nature of the rectal opening seems fake looking. I think it would make an excellent sculpture, maybe something for the corporate world, like right outside of a conglomerate's headquarters building or the like. Maybe at 4-5 times the scale. What do you think?

Re:Good pic for those who's already seen it... (-1)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521245)

As a public service announcement, the "heavenly body - tubgirl" photo below is just plain sick. Somebody please mod that down. You've been warned.

Coolness Matters! ! (5, Insightful)

FFtrDale (521701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521045)

In Story (1), Romani says,
"but if the 'coolness' of seeing ultra-bright beachball-sized plasma clouds thousands of light years away captures some young person's imagination and encourages them in technical pursuits, that's a good day's work."
How many of us spent years studying difficult topics in technical fields and learned how to do things because of the "coolness" of some things that we saw as children? I'm guessing that there are a lot of us for whom that was a big motivation for sticking with it when things got hard.

Re:Coolness Matters! ! (2, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521088)

How many of us spent years studying difficult topics in technical fields and learned how to do things because of the "coolness" of some things that we saw as children? I'm guessing that there are a lot of us for whom that was a big motivation for sticking with it when things got hard.

with all due respect, pulsars (and more) are pretty damn cool as they are. I am not sure how them being the size of a beachball raises their 'cool' level. I agree that 'cool' helps, and get people to go forward at times, but the size just doesn't push it from "almost cool" to "cool enough" for me. I dunno.

Re: Already Cool (1)

FFtrDale (521701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521123)

No argument from me. I'm glad that the story put pulsars back in the news this week. UPI gets a lot of readers.

Re:Coolness Matters! ! (3, Insightful)

idlethought (558209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521232)

Perhaps it's the implication that there's still cool stuff to discover, rather than the idea that all the stuff worth discovering has is already available found. I was born after the moon landing. Although I know that it was more important than the Columbia's first space flight, it was seeing the space shuttle land for the first time that made me really feel that space flight was cool. Well, that and Star Wars.

Re:Coolness Matters! ! (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521303)

How many of us spent years studying difficult topics in technical fields and learned how to do things because of the "coolness" of some things that we saw as children? I'm guessing that there are a lot of us for whom that was a big motivation for sticking with it when things got hard.

Shoot, I found "cool" things as an adult when I decided that human vision was pretty damn facsinating. Integrating computer technology into the study of retinal vision is also compelling allowing us to discover what is going wrong in retinas of disorders that cause blindness. The "coolest" outcome would be finding a prevention for blinding diseases or even figuring out how to "cure" blindness or enhance existing vision.

Re:Coolness Matters! ! (2, Interesting)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521460)

Its a tough call. I was very interested in sports as a child, as well as the outdoors computers and cars. Nowadays sports has kind of dropped off the map. Astronomy, creative writing, physics and mechanical engineering have climbed. I've gone back and read Watership Down, and other books that were assigned to me in High School and now I love them.

In school, they couldn't get me to touch a bunch of these subjects but for some reason now that I'm an adult I find them much more fascinating. I'm going back and re-learning calculus for some fluid dynamics equations I used to know, and pounding out my old dynamics problems for kicks.

I guess what I'm saying is that I didn't stick with them when things went hard, but I rekindled a interest in them when I got older. Me and school never really mixed very well.

--------------
OnRoad [onlawn.net] : JunkYard Wars meets SCCA racing.

Re:Coolness Matters! ! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521991)

Yeah, but when I watched the picture go from subatomic to universal while listening to Philip Morris' whispery voice describe the science at each power of 10 change in scale, I recall that it was me who said "this is cool", not him.

And Nova used to rule. Now it's a cross between Popular Science, Rush Limbaugh, and biotech-company commercials.

I don't get it. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521049)

Does this mean they found a cure for my STD?

Say what you like, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521052)

But these Muslims [yahoo.com] are crazy, I tell you!

Not Aricebo (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521066)

It's Arecibo... Look at you Seti@Home account.

Re:Not Aricebo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521087)

You must be new here if you are bothering to correct spelling.

Re:Not Aricebo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521097)

You must be new here if you are bothering to correct spelling.

YOU must be new here. :) You should know we have plenty of idiots that correct spelling. I just prefer they post as NOT AC so i can FOE them as lamers. Its always nice to thin the herd.

Re:Not Aricebo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521206)

Yes but let us all rejoice in laughing at a message that corrects spelling that has a grammar error in it.

Look again at you message, corncob.

Re:Not Aricebo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521361)

God, you must *love* to FOE people!

Can you keep a job?

Somehow I find the idea of working in your vicinity most unpleasant.

More URLs On This Story From Sci-Fi Today (3, Informative)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521083)

We ran this story with lots of extra URLs earlier this morning here [scifitoday.com] . Get Sci-Fi Today headlines on your Slashdot page by clicking here [slashdot.org] .

I thought... (3, Insightful)

Wes Janson (606363) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521084)

That something so small and so massive would have gone ahead and collapsed into a black hole. Were there multiple beachballs per supernova?

Re:I thought... (4, Informative)

drudd (43032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521196)

Yes, but not in the way you're thinking...

The beachballs aren't the neutron stars, which are somewhere around 20 km in radius. So they weren't a direct result of supernova collapse.

The beachballs they are observing are the regions of plasma near the magnetic poles of the neutron star which are causing the large bursts of radio waves.

Doug

A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (5, Informative)

Ardias (544478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521353)

These are not separate beachball sized objects within the Crab Nebula. The pulses come from a beachball sized area on the pulsar within the Crab Nebula.

The magnetic field of the neutron star is so strong that it sends out radiation. The points of origin for the radiation are at the north and south magnetic poles of the neutron star. Since the neutron star rotates so fast, the radiation looks like a pulse to us. The surface locations that create those beams of radiation are small, only the size of a beach ball. And the radiation is so strong that it ionizes the atoms on the surface or just above the surface, making a little plasma cloud above the neutron star's magnetic poles.

Light travels across 12 inches in one nanosecond. (Side note: When radio astronomy technicians install optic cables, they have to measure the cables in nanosecond-light-lengths.) Since the subpulses are measured in nanoseconds, that means the beaming region on the pulsar is about that wide. A neutron star is 12 to 20km wide, and astronomers once thought the beaming region was as much as 10% of the surface area. Now, they are surprised to discover it is much smaller.

So, the question now is: what confines the neutron star's very powerful magnetic field to such a small region?

Re:A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521394)

12 inches ~= 11.47 inches.

Re:A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521652)

Light travels across 12 inches in one nanosecond.

Excelent!

I knew imperial measurements wern't arbertary at all!

A imperial foot is whole light-nanosenced long, in addition to also being the length of my penis!

Take that, all you Metric poofs!

Re:A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521914)

Light travels across 12 inches in one nanosecond.
Excelent!
I knew imperial measurements wern't arbertary at all!

Except you forget that light travels exactly one meter in (newly invented, by me) one metric second. It sure is a good thing that seconds aren't arbitrary eh? ;-)

Re:A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521715)

A neutron star spins very quickly and i asume that the material which produces the radiowaves is falling in very quickly to(maybe not even needed with the big gravity field) so you can make the radiation source larger

Re:A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (2, Informative)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522066)

Since the subpulses are measured in nanoseconds, that means the beaming region on the pulsar is about that wide.

Even assuming this very simple geometry and mechanism, it only means that they are 60 cm deep in the direction you are looking at them. Perpendicular to the optical axis, they can be much larger.

Re:A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5522552)

Something doesn't add up here.

Draw a right triangle.
.|\
a| \ c
.+--+
b
let c = b + delta

let b = 5.67e19 meters (6,000 LY = dist to the nebula)
let delta = 0.3 meters (1 light nanosecond)

take a^2 = c^2 - b^2 = (b+delta)^2 - b^2
so a^2 = 2 * b * delta + delta^2

ignoring delta^2, we get a^2 = 2 * b * delta

a = 5.8e9 meters (about 19.5 light seconds)

I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but I think these astronomers are on crack.

Re:A surface spot of the pulsar is beachball size. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5522610)

"Dragon's Egg" type alien life! It's a giant neutron star communication dish :)

Runny ass eggs... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521102)

I want em in me!

Linux is terrible compared to Windows XP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521113)

I've only just started using Windows after using Linux since 1997 when I left Windows 2.0 for Linux.

I just installed my service pack and everything went so smooth I am amazed. I used to be one of those Linux users that claimed Windows was unstable and difficult to update but I was very wrong about that.

When I was using Linux I had so many dependency problems even with the Debian apt program I was using that was supposed to automatically resolve dependency problems.

The truth about apt and Debian is that I hosed my system several times trying to upgrade packages.
This was well known on COLA and I got caught but being a true linvocate I would never admit my errors and since all my linux friends came to my assistance in fighting off the trolls it was easy to escape.

When this happened for the fourth time, hosing my system, I began to think that maybe Linux isn't so great and that is when I tried Windows
XP.

I may never go back to Linux unless I see some major improvements because Windows is so much better for me.

curious (0)

Vej (199488) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521118)

Is there any information on how many of these sources there might be in the nebula?

Zoltar has a new beach ball monster? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521128)

"G-Force!"

Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula (4, Funny)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521133)

Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula - this has to be the most nonsensical headline I've EVER read!

Re:Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula (0)

Vej (199488) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521140)

Haha, not as much as the nonsensicalness of naming a cloud a "Crab Nebula"...they seem to fit together.

All cosmic greatness boils down to a sand crab farting out beachballs.

Re:Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula (1)

bluxus (657798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521212)

Maybe "Tossing Beachballs in the Crab Nebula" would have been better? Conjures images of jetpacking off to space for holiday. Then getting torn apart by some mean ass forces and stuff.

Re:Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula (0)

G4M8I7 (649842) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521598)

Are space beachballs related in any way to Space Balls?? -- I'm a Mog. Half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend!

Re:Resolving Beachballs in the Crab Nebula (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521704)

Perhaps it should have read 'revolving', since that more accurately describes what is going on.

Except for the beachball part.

Actually you are right: it IS the most non-sensical headline ever.

Crab nebula (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521137)

I used to beat up all you fucking dorks in high school.

Now I fire your dork asses and shit your jobs to India when I catch you reading Slashdot at work.

Will my job go to India? Not on your never-gotten-laid life.

Re:Crab nebula (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521209)

Ah, but you fail to consider this [tubgirl.com] !!!!!!!!

It's not aliens shut up. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521157)

If I here one of you punks claiming it's aliens I really will track you and treat you the same way Jay and Silent Bob treated their detractors in their "Jay and Silent Bob goto Hollywood" movie.

SHUT UP. It's not aliens. You are stupid (not necessary you but if you're not agreeing that's not aliens you are stupid, stupid).

There is a hole in this argument (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521186)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__***__|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_e_x_*_


Microsoft tries to "own the consumer" with Xbox Biggest games makers refuse to play By Arron Rouse: Friday 14 March 2003, 10:56 MICROSOFT IS HAVING A TOUGH TIME getting support for its Xbox Live. The Vole's usual strategy of keeping as much of the money for itself as possible isn't sitting well with the biggest games makers. Electronic Arts and Eidos have both said they will not be supporting Xbox Live. According to Bloomberg, the chief executive of Eidos said, "we don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's business model - they own the consumer." This is down to Microsoft being determined to control the system that Xboxes connect to and, what a surprise, determined to control the subscriptions. According to Eidos, that leaves no real incentive for it to take part. Conversely, Eidos is quite happily beavering away to make online games for the Playstation 2. Electronic Arts was quoted as saying that it had no plans for online games for the Xbox either. Although it didn't go into details, it seems likely that the reasons are similar. EA claimed that it couldn't agree to Microsoft's terms. Analysts are already circling like vultures and pointing to this being a bad omen for Xbox. With companies as big as Electronic Arts and Eidos turning up their noses, it's really no surprise. It is a bad omen.

Microsoft tries to "own the consumer" with Xbox Biggest games makers refuse to play By Arron Rouse: Friday 14 March 2003, 10:56 MICROSOFT IS HAVING A TOUGH TIME getting support for its Xbox Live. The Vole's usual strategy of keeping as much of the money for itself as possible isn't sitting well with the biggest games makers. Electronic Arts and Eidos have both said they will not be supporting Xbox Live. According to Bloomberg, the chief executive of Eidos said, "we don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's business model - they own the consumer." This is down to Microsoft being determined to control the system that Xboxes connect to and, what a surprise, determined to control the subscriptions. According to Eidos, that leaves no real incentive for it to take part. Conversely, Eidos is quite happily beavering away to make online games for the Playstation 2. Electronic Arts was quoted as saying that it had no plans for online games for the Xbox either. Although it didn't go into details, it seems likely that the reasons are similar. EA claimed that it couldn't agree to Microsoft's terms. Analysts are already circling like vultures and pointing to this being a bad omen for Xbox. With companies as big as Electronic Arts and Eidos turning up their noses, it's really no surprise. It is a bad omen.

Microsoft tries to "own the consumer" with Xbox Biggest games makers refuse to play By Arron Rouse: Friday 14 March 2003, 10:56 MICROSOFT IS HAVING A TOUGH TIME getting support for its Xbox Live. The Vole's usual strategy of keeping as much of the money for itself as possible isn't sitting well with the biggest games makers. Electronic Arts and Eidos have both said they will not be supporting Xbox Live. According to Bloomberg, the chief executive of Eidos said, "we don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's business model - they own the consumer." This is down to Microsoft being determined to control the system that Xboxes connect to and, what a surprise, determined to control the subscriptions. According to Eidos, that leaves no real incentive for it to take part. Conversely, Eidos is quite happily beavering away to make online games for the Playstation 2. Electronic Arts was quoted as saying that it had no plans for online games for the Xbox either. Although it didn't go into details, it seems likely that the reasons are similar. EA claimed that it couldn't agree to Microsoft's terms. Analysts are already circling like vultures and pointing to this being a bad omen for Xbox. With companies as big as Electronic Arts and Eidos turning up their noses, it's really no surprise. It is a bad omen.

But Do They Have A Women's Beach Volleyball Team? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521208)

Wearing thong bikinis. That's all we really care about.

Re:But Do They Have A Women's Beach Volleyball Tea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5522419)

Yes, but they all have crabs. :(

Re:But Do They Have A Women's Beach Volleyball Tea (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522454)

They are searchin' for space beach babes in bikini's with our tax money? "Pure science" my ass.

Google News (1)

mickcim (455246) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521244)

Very interesting that the first link in Google's Sci/Tech headline for this story was to the slashdot post. They referenced other sources too but /. was the main headline link.

Reverse-slashdotted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521282)

When a /. story shows up on google it means lots of people have blogged it right?

Re:Google News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521285)

The same thing happened with the space shuttle article a few below this. I click on the google news link and was like, "What the hell... I thought I was... Did google... oh... odd."

coming soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521334)

Dead Or Alive Extreme Space Beachball.

Where more than the beachballs jiggle.

Suffering Succotash! (5, Funny)

nlh (80031) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521346)

Did anyone else notice the sheet number of alliterations the author of the first article used? I think someone wishes he weren't a science reporter....

Astronomers have tracked the long-sought source of brilliant beams that bounce across galaxies from super-dense spinning star...

...helps illuminate one of the most exotic environments ever perceived...

...a pulsar spews sprays of radio waves...

...A supernova marks the farewell flicker...

...expelling a great belch that spits the stellar shell into space...


etc...

Re:Suffering Succotash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5522456)

you missed the last one:

spits, stellar shell, space...

Re:Suffering Succotash! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522463)

Did anyone else notice the sheet number of alliterations the author of the first article used?......"expelling a great belch that spits the stellar shell into space..."

The author probably has a PhD in astrophysics, but the suits pressured him to "spice it up". You know, the same kind of managers who won't declare your app "done" until you add pretty icons.

Kinda presumptuous physics (4, Interesting)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521348)

Some of the signals lasted less than two nanoseconds, meaning the originated from a volume no bigger than beach ball. That is very presumptuous. There are ways to get around that. It would be possible for larger object to produce pulses much shorter than the time it would take light to travel the distance of its diameter. When a shockwave starts well below the surface of a sphere, and propagates uniformly along a fairly crisp expanding sphere, it could cause the surface to flare up briefly wherever it hits, and the radius of the affected area would expand faster than the speed of light because of the geometry of it. Something like that, only happening in a neutron star, could explain those kinds of pulses without the requirement that they occur in such a small volume.

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521393)

It's not nearly as easy as you think for an object to consistently produce symmetric, coherent pulses.

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (3, Informative)

zer0vector (94679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521397)

You have to understand they are assuming already that this object is a pulsar, which means the pulses are very likely powered by a rapidly spinning neutron star. The energy is emitted constantly but is tightly beamed, so the rotation of the object causes the pulsing. For an object to pulse that fast and to not be spinning faster than the speed of light, the size must be less than the beachball.

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521981)

Exactly. They shouldn't just assume thaty it's a pulsar and the time between pulses is how long it takes to rotate. There are plenty of other possible explanations, such as rapid changes of the direction of the jet relative to the rotational axis caused by small scale magnetic effects.

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (3, Informative)

zer0vector (94679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522040)

I think you might have to look to Occam's Razor on this one. Getting a spinning neutron star isn't very "hard". A asymmetric collapse of a white dwarf does just fine. As well there are mounds of experimental evidence to support a spinning neutron stars. Other interpretations are much more "difficult" to produce, and require vast amounts of energy and extremely strict circumstances for them to occur.

There are no pulses from pulsars. (5, Informative)

Ardias (544478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521466)

A pulsar does not produce pulses. The "pulse" that we see comes from a steady uniform beam of radiation from a rotating neutron star.

Ever see a lighthouse in action at night? That light is a steady beam from a very strong lamp mounted on a rotating platform. The platform spins at a steady rate. If you are nearby, such as on the ground looking up at the lighthouse, you can see the rotating beam. If you are on a ship, far away at sea, you don't see a rotating beam. Instead the observer on the ship sees a pulse.

The neutron star inside the Crab Nebula spins at a very steady rate of 33 rotations per seconds. It has 2 hot spots, one at the magnetic north pole, and another at the magnetic south pole. These hot spots produce a steady beam of light, which we see as 33 pulses per second.

Now, there are shockwaves produced by by seismic shifts within the neutron star. The neutron star has a crust that breaks into pieces and shifts around occasionally. (Think of earthquakes here, but the crust is very thin, and very dense, so the energy released is much greater than what powers an earthquake around here.) These shifts cause "hiccups" in the radiation beam. We can actually measure these hiccups because the "pulse" goes out of phase for a moment.

But, to finally answer your question, those shockwaves do not cause the "pulses", but merely adjust their timing for a brief moment. Also, a shockwave would be only an occasional event, rather than something that happens 33 times every second like clockwork.

The subpulses within the pulses are also very well timed, to within 2 nanoseconds. Since light travels about 61 cm in 2 nanoseconds, the hot spots that cause the subpulses are at most 61 cm wide.

We still have a few unknowns here, such as what confines the hot spot to such a small region. But, what causes the pulse itself is known.

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521699)

It wouldn't create a two nanosecond pulse. You would see a ring who would star at the center of the star and would move outward. If you have a star with a radius of .03 seconds(like a neutron star) you would get a pulse of .03 seconds out of it

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522112)

this seems to be the most enlightened thread in here, so I guess this is the best place to ask this:


Is there any chance that losses 'left' us with nohting but the very brief pulses to look at ?


If you compare that to any other wave analogy, you could say that a wave has 'tops', and the smaller the slice of the tops the shorter the 'pulse' would seem, but it doesn't say anything about the size of the wave underneath it (but the PERIOD does!).

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (2, Informative)

ca1v1n (135902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522545)

Waves have characteristic "shapes" in both frequency and time domains depending on what created them. A pulse of waves would itself be a wave, and if the output from a pulsar is not a simple sinusoidal wave, it's probably some other form from which a distinct start and end can be determined. There are some forms that come to mind that do not lend themselves to a meaningful determination of start and finish, like exponentials, but those would have infinite energy output anyway, so they're not too likely. The computer simulations they did support these results, and we all know that simulations are always right. So either they've found something new and interesting, or they've found something not so new and interesting that will require them to refine their model of how pulsars work anyway. Either way, something interesting has been learned.

Re:Kinda presumptuous physics (2, Informative)

Univac_1004 (643570) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522857)

its a few nanosecs between pulses, so that is the period. Your comment ignores that.

A Breakthrough... (-1, Troll)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521421)

These objects are the densest oscillating bodies on record, just barely surpassing Iraq protestors who twirled around for peace.

doesn't seem very conclusive (3, Insightful)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5521736)

First of all, it is only "nearly imperceptible subpulses" that are 2ns short, so we are not talking about the entire energy output of the pulsar.

But just as importantly, all that this seems to tell you is that the region from which these subpulses come is less than 2ft thick along the line from here to there, it tells you much less about its area. So, perhaps this is just the signal you see when looking straight at the neutron star and something happens on a surface pacth. The patch could have a much larger diameter than 2ft.

Re:doesn't seem very conclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5521854)

Do we need to alert SETI? We might have a candidate signal here.

Plasma balls about 1 m in diameter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5522149)

ET has finally contacted us, and it's Space-Beavis and Space-Butthead lighting farts.

I can't resolve the nebula of crabs on my balls (0, Troll)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522156)

If any astronomer have telescope to help me, please don't wait for E.T. to phone home...

Smallest Deep Space Structures Detected??????? (0, Insightful)

c4thy (224077) | more than 11 years ago | (#5522285)

With sensitive new equipment, astronomers studying radio emissions from a fast-spinning star have detected what they say are the smallest structures found so far in deep space.

i thought blackholes were the smallest detected structures found in deep space?

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