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In the previous page, we showed the effect of optical lens by using an animation published by the  STScI. The zoom, opposite, shows, with more precision, the effects of refraction, but it also shows, in the main jet, a strange object.

This object presents the peculiarity to making a round trip, in 23 images (approximately 8 months), perpendicular to the axis of ejection of the main jet.

This distance covered by this object would be, if we set as reference the distance separating the pulsar from its star partner, that is, if we take into account the effect of lens effect, approximately twice 1000 km.

The diagram opposite, shows the structure of the core of the Crab such as it appears to us.

  1. The roaming object O in black.

  2. The Pulsar P in yellow.

  3. The star partner E in red.

It is impossible, considering the turbulence of the gas, to say if O follows an elliptic trajectory viewed from the side, or a completely different trajectory.

However, we can put forth the hypothesis that O is caught in the jet by the Coanda effect, and that it would then tend to collimate, rather poorly, this jet.

The nature of O is totally unknown.


When a star, at the end of its life, has consumed all its hydrogen, its internal pressure fails to compensate its internal gravity. Gases of the star then collapse then towards the core then bounce violently. They are ejected.

It is an implosion, followed by an explosion. M1 would be the residue of the collapse of a massive star, from 8 to 25 solar masses (it would thus be a Supernova of type II?).

The result of this collapse is, as the case may be, a neutron star or a black hole.


  1. It seems, in the Crab, that the collimation of the jets is associated to dual or multiple stars systems (neutrons stars?), in the presence of magnetic fields forming magnetospheres.

  2. These magnetospheres behave as sun sails for winds of charged particles.

  3. It is these sails which allow, by Coanda effect, these objects to be caught by the jets. This phenomenon is of the same nature that the one which was observed in the core of the galaxy M 87.

  4. The multiplicity of objects in the heart of the Crab queries the theory of the formation of this nebula.

  5. The only way of explaining the structure of the core of the Crab would be a head-on collision at high speed (2000 to 5000 Km/s) of two massive stars.

  6. " Neuton Stars" of the Crab would be then residues of the split cores of both original stars.


As a consequence, we should observe many pulsars and jets,

  1. in the arms of spiral galaxies, near the galactic centres. It seems this is what is observed in the Milky Way.

  2. In the dense systems of stars such as star clusters. This is exactly what Jodrell Bank Observatory has discovered : more than 20 millisecond pulsars concentrated in the core of star cluster 47 Tucanae. We could not dream of a better proof that pulsars are directly bound to the presence of stars very close to each other, thus favoring the formation of periodic jets.

Documents to be consulted:

  1. Stellar Collisions (Joshua E. Barnes)

  2. Stellar Collisions, Mergers and Their Consequences.

  3. Astronomers claim to have found proof of stellar collisions.

  4. On July 19th, 2005, the Chandra observatory confirms us that about twenty pulsars of the stars cluster 47 Tucanae would be well indeed to binary systems of very close stars.

  5. An X-ray Variable Millisecond Pulsar in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae: Closing the Link to Low Mass X-ray Binaries.


Crated 01/10/2003
Last Release: 05/11/13 (P. Schuler)

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