A South African radio telescope has captured the clearest picture but of an enormous and mysterious area object.
Sixteen occasions bigger than our Milky Means galaxy, or about 1,000,000 mild years throughout, the so-called “odd radio circle” has fascinated astronomers because it was first found in 2019.
“People often want to explain their observations and show that it aligns with our best knowledge,” astronomer Dr. Jordan Collier mentioned in a news release. “To me, it’s much more exciting to discover something new, that defies our current understanding.”
Collier of South Africa’s Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy compiled the picture of the big glowing rings with the assistance of the MeerKAT radio telescope, which consists of 64 dish antennas. Solely 5 odd radio circles have been discovered since first being found with an analogous Australian radio telescope in 2019. Odd radio circles, or ORCs for brief, usually are not seen with optical, infrared or x-ray telescopes.
Whereas there isn’t any clarification for what causes odd radio circles, the brand new knowledge apparently exhibits spherical rings centred round a galaxy the place solely a roundish blob was beforehand seen. That added element has helped researchers narrows it down to 3 main theories: they might be the aftermath of an enormous explosion on the centre of a galaxy, highly effective jets of power taking pictures out of a galaxy’s centre, or the shock wave from the formation of stars.
“We know [odd radio circles] are rings of faint radio emissions surrounding a galaxy with a highly active black hole at its centre, but we don’t yet know what causes them, or why they are so rare,” astrophysicist Dr. Ray Norris mentioned.
Together with Collier, Norris of Australia’s Western Sydney College was a part of the worldwide crew of researchers who revealed their findings on the odd radio circle within the peer-reviewed British journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.