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Origin of the 5 March 1979 γ-ray transient: a vibrating neutron star


An unusual γ-ray transient was observed on 5 March 1979, with 12 different instruments on 9 different spacecraft1–4. Most of these instruments are incorporated into an interplanetary γ-ray burst network. The source position of the 5 March transient, determined by this network to an accuracy4 of 1 × 2 arc min, is consistent with the direction of the supernova remnant N49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Subsequent analysis5 of the data, by narrowing the source error box to an area of about 6 by 30 arc s inside the supernova remnant, considerably strengthens this identification. We propose that a vibrating neutron star in the LMC is the source of the 5 March transient. This may be both the first detection of a vibrating neutron star and indirect evidence for gravitation radiation.

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Ramaty, R., Bonazzola, S., Cline, T. et al. Origin of the 5 March 1979 γ-ray transient: a vibrating neutron star. Nature 287, 122–124 (1980).

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