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The most controversial -- and potentially exciting -- observations involve Hercules X-1, another binary system possessing a neutron star.
National Laboratory show that the neutron star Hercules X-1, about 15,000 light-years away, is the source of surprisingly powerful pulses of what appear to be neutral particles.
Hercules X-1, composed mainly of neutrons, is one member of a double-star, or binary, system.
24 PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, the Los Alamos detectors record particle showers initiated in the upper atmosphere when particles or gamma rays from Hercules X-1 strike atoms in the air.
For Hercules X-1 and Cygnus X-3, we see only occasional emission episodes," Nagle says.
A particularly likely class of candidates is the binary star X-ray sources in our galaxy, such as Cygnus X-3, Hercules X-1 and Vela X-1.
Presumably these muons are produced in the detector by some highly energetic, extremely penetrating radiation that comes from certain sources in the sky-- Cygnus X-3 and Hercules X-1 are among those implicated--and can penetrate the earth's atmosphere and several thousand feet of rock to reach the detector.
In this case the source seems also to be Hercules X-1.
Yodh told the Heavenly Accelerators workshop, which met recently at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, that just a few months ago a series of air showers initiated by gamma rays that seem to come from Hercules X-1 had "too many muons' associated with them--that is, more than known and accepted physics would expect--and therefore something strange is going on.
Astronomers have now found several objects that do, including the Crab nebula, the Crab pulsar, the Vela pulsar, Hercules X-1, Cygnus X-3, 4U0115 63, Centaurus X-3, PSR1953 29 and LMC X-4.
Gorham of the University of Hawaii at Manoa described some of the observations of Hercules X-1 done at the Whipple Observatory and some theoretical conclusions he drew from them and expressed in his recent doctoral dissertation.
Now they claim similar radiation from four more binary X-ray sources: Hercules X-1, Scorpio X-1, 4U0115 63 and 1E2259 586.