Astronauts have detected new, unusual radio waves coming from the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The energy signal does not resemble any previously studied phenomenon and may refer to a hitherto unknown astronomical object.
The brightness of the object changes dramatically and the signal appears to turn on and off randomly.
“The strangest feature of the new signal is that it has a very high degree of polarization. This means that its light oscillates in only one direction, but this direction changes over time,” reads in a press release.
he thought it could be a pulsar — a very dense type of fast-rotating neutron stars (dead stars) or a type of star that emits huge solar flares. However, the signals from the new radio wave source do not match what astronomers expect from these types of stars.
“This object is unique in that it started invisibly, then became bright, faded, and then reappeared. This behavior was extraordinary, “said study co-author Tara Murphy.
The object was originally spotted during a survey of the sky using a 36-plate Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder radio telescope, known as a telescope. at the Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory in Western Australia.
further observations were made with the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales and the MeerKAT telescope at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory. However, the Parkes telescope did not detect the source. “We then tried the more sensitive MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa. Since the signal appeared intermittently, we observed it for 15 minutes every few weeks, hoping we would see it again,” Murphy said in the statement.
“Fortunately, the signal returned, but we found that the behavior of the source had changed dramatically – the source had disappeared in a single day, even though it had been visible for weeks in our previous ASKAP observations. “
Murphy said more powerful telescopes, such as the planned Square Kilometer Array can help you solve the mystery. The array is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, which is expected to be completed in the next decade.
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