Astronomers in Taiwan recently discovered gamma ray emissions in a binary star system in the Southern Cross.
The discovery was made by a research team led by professor Albert Kong (江國興) of National Tsing Hua University’s Institute of Astronomy and Department of Physics in collaboration with academics in Hong Kong and South Korea.
According to the National Science Council, which funded the six-member research team, the discovery was made in October last year. The results of that work were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters on Wednesday, ahead of a group of 173 US researchers who had also discovered the phenomenon.
The team said most binary systems are composed of two stars or a massive star with a white dwarf — a small star composed mostly of electron-degenerate matter and is very dense. However, the binary system, labeled PSR B1259-63/LS 2883, that the group has been observing is composed of a star nine times larger than the sun and a neutron star about the size of Hsinchu City.
Tam Pak-hin (譚柏軒), group researcher and the initial discoverer of the phenomena, said he had been observing the binary star since October when the neutron star approached the star and observed the rare gamma ray emission in mid-November.
“Because the signal was too weak, the discovery was questioned by other astronomers,” he said, adding that “surprisingly, we discovered the rays beginning from January and the signal was many times stronger than the previous [observation].”
“It is an unprecedented discovery and there is currently no recognized explanation,” he added.
Another researcher, Regina Huang (黃修慧), said that “in the past, astronomers have used radio waves and X-rays to observe this binary system, but no one had ever found gamma rays measuring 1 billion electron volts.”
X-rays have electron wave bands in the thousands of electron volts, Huang added.
The group said the discovery could help tell us more about the interaction mechanism between a massive star and neutron star.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
‘CHINESE CAPITAL’: Fanny Liu was found guilty of reducing the rent of a tenant in exchange for a vote for a KMT Taipei city councilor candidate The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced Fanny Liu (劉樂妍), a former member of the now-disbanded female pop group Fantasy 4, to 10 years in prison for vote-buying. The court found Liu — who is now based in China and has made pro-Chinese Communist Party remarks — guilty of reducing the rent on a Taipei property she owned in exchange for the tenant voting for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections. She can appeal the ruling. Liu in December 2018 reportedly lowered the rent by NT$1,000 after the tenant said they had voted for Taipei City
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease