Strange radio waves reach Earth from an unknown source in the direction of the center of our galaxy


An international team of astronomers has discovered unusual signals coming from the direction of our galaxy center. These radio waves do not match any known radio source, so they probably come from a hitherto unknown object in space. No scientist, at present, has a clear answer as to their origin.

Researchers from various countries (Australia, USA, Canada, Spain, France, South Africa) who published in the Astrophysical Journal, stated that “the strangest property of the new signal is that it has a very high polarization.” “which means that its light oscillates only in one direction, but this direction rotates over time.”

They also noted that “the brightness of the object fluctuates dramatically, by 100 times, and the signal appears to ‘flash’ randomly. Sydney.

“Looking at the center of our galaxy, we found this object that is unique, as at first it was invisible, then it became bright, then it faded and then reappeared. The behavior was completely unusual,” said Tara Murphy, also a professor at his university. Sydney.

Many types of stars emit variable light in the electromagnetic spectrum. Neutron stars (pulsars), supernovae (supernovae), stars that send flashes in space, and fast radio waves (FRBs) are such astronomical objects whose brightness fluctuates.

But the new source, originally discovered by the Australian radio telescope ASKAP and confirmed by the South African radio telescope MeerKAT, does not appear to match any of these phenomena. Having detected six radio signals with ASKAP over nine months in 2020, astronomers then tried to observe it with an optical telescope, but failed. The attempt of the Parkes radio telescope was just as unsuccessful, but finally the most sensitive MeerKAT detected the mysterious object again this year, which was christened “the object of ‘Anti’ (from the nickname of the astronomer who first discovered it).

As Murphy said, “We were lucky that the signal returned, but we found that its behavior was dramatically different. The source disappeared in just one day, although it had been for weeks when we observed it with the ASKAP radio telescope.”

The new unknown source, which is probably small in size and has a strong magnetic field, is being added to other mysterious radio objects that have been discovered relatively recently near the galactic center and also have varying brightness (hence the name “Galactic Center Radio Transients”. “). Within the next decade, the large interconnected intercontinental radio telescope SKA (Square Kilometer Array) will be put into operation, which hopes to shed more light on these mysterious objects.

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