Scientists discover another unexplained ring-shaped radio structure in space
Scientists have discovered another bizarre, gigantic and unexplained circle-shaped radio structure in outer space, a discovery that contributes to “exciting times in astronomy,” according to a new study.
The bubble is the latest example of the Strange Radio Circle (DRC), a name for a type of spectral ring that debuted in a 2020 paper led by University of Western Sydney astrophysicist Ray Norris. Norris and his colleagues discovered four such huge circles, eerily glowing in faint radio waves far beyond our galaxy.
Now scientists led by Berbel Koribalski, a researcher at Australia’s CSIRO National Telescope Center, have discovered a fifth ORC, which appears to extend to about a million light years away.
The structure, called ORC J0102-2450, also looks like it has an elliptical galaxy at its center, a feature it shares with the two ORCs detected by Norris’ group. Koribalski and co-authors, including Norris, said the presence of the galaxies is “hardly a coincidence” and could help explain the origin of these ghost rings, according to their forthcoming study in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, available on the arXiv preprints server.
For decades, ORCs have gone undetected because they are very dim, but new and modern radio telescopes such as Australia’s Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) are sensitive enough to spot the huge bubbles.
“Because ASKAP can observe an area of 30 square degrees — a very large area — it is an excellent survey instrument, and the data collected will lead to many new discoveries,” Koribalski said in an e-mail. “We usually observe one area of 30 square degrees for ~10 hours (if possible), then repeat these observations several times to increase the sensitivity of the field. The higher the sensitivity, the more radio sources we detect.”
Koribalski and her colleagues combined eight ASKAP observations from August 2019 to December 2020 to see the newest member of the ORC family.
Because ORCs are so faint, it is difficult to determine exactly how far away they are from Earth, making it difficult to estimate their size. However, the pattern of galaxies appearing at the center of the ORC, now observed in three of five cases, may provide a measure of distance. For example, the galaxy at the center of the recently discovered ORC is about three billion light-years away, suggesting that the circle spans a space of about 980,000 light-years.
This distant galaxy could also be the source of a giant bubble, the study says. Some galaxies are surrounded by long radio-bright lobes formed by jets from their galactic nuclei that eject energetic gas tens of thousands of light-years into intergalactic space. Koribalski and her colleagues suggest that ORC J0102-2450 may be one of these petals when viewed from Earth, as it dims rapidly after the jets turn off.
The team also suggests that a “giant blast wave in the central galaxy” that creates a “spherical shell of radio emission” could be the ORC’s progenitor, the study says. One possible trigger for such a large-scale spherical shock wave could be the merger of two supermassive black holes during a galactic collision.
Alien space debris stuck in Earth’s orbit, researchers say
Recently, a group of experts from Harvard University, led by physics
professor Avi Loeb, announced the possible presence of alien space
debris in Earth’s orbit, reports the Daily Star.
space research expert Professor Loeb is confident that the discovery of
such “interstellar objects could help expand our knowledge of possible
alien civilizations and technologies. A team of scientists is conducting
research to confirm that some of the objects in our orbit may be
connected to other star systems.
During an interview with Live
Science, Professor Loeb explained that these objects could enter the
solar system from interstellar space, defying Jupiter’s gravitational
pull and occupying limited orbits around the sun.
Some of them may
have technological origins similar to the probes sent by mankind into
interstellar space, such as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, Pioneer 10 and 11
and New Horizons.
despite these interesting assumptions, Professor Loeb did not specify
what specific objects he was talking about. In his research report, he
notes that there could be “a significant number” of potentially
detectable objects in Earth’s orbit.
To confirm their assumptions,
the team of scientists uses computer simulations and the Vera Rubin
Observatory (Chile) with a high-resolution camera of 3.2 billion pixels.
This will allow for regular observations of the Southern sky and the
possibility of detecting several captured objects about the size of a
It is assumed that these interstellar objects passed through the
boundaries of the solar system and may carry unique information about
other civilizations and their technologies. If we could confirm the
origin of these objects, the mysteries that open before us, this would
be a real breakthrough in space exploration.
expresses hope that the new research will not only help expand our
knowledge of extraterrestrial technologies, but may also lead to the
discovery of new alien civilizations . Answers to such questions can be
of global significance and influence our understanding of the place of
mankind in the Universe.
while there are still many questions and assumptions, the study by
Professor Loeb and his team opens a new chapter in space exploration.
Each new discovery can be the key to deciphering the mysteries of the
cosmos and the possibility of encountering alien life forms.
Betelgeuse is acting strange again
Betelgeuse, a red giant on the brink of death, continues to show
unusual behavior. After the Great Blackout, which occurred in late 2019
and early 2020, the star became unusually bright. It is now the seventh
brightest star in the sky, while it normally ranks tenth. This has led
to speculation that Betelgeuse is preparing to explode in a
spectacularly large supernova.
However, scientists believe it’s too early to tell, and it’s likely
that this behavior is due to ongoing fluctuations after the Great
Blackout of 2019, and the star will return to normal within a decade.
Betelgeuse is one of the most interesting stars in the sky. It is
about 700 light-years from Earth and is a red giant in the last stage of
its life. It is also an unusual star for a red giant because it was
previously a monster blue-white O-type star, the most massive class of
Betelgeuse has changed its spectral type because it has almost
exhausted its hydrogen reserves. It now burns helium into carbon and
oxygen and has expanded to a gigantic size: about 764 times the size of
the Sun and about 16.5 to 19 times its mass.
Eventually it will run out of fuel to burn, become a supernova, eject
its outer material, and its core will collapse into a neutron star.
Before the Great Blackout, Betelgeuse also had periodic fluctuations
in brightness. The longest of these cycles is about 5.9 years and the
other is 400 days. But it seems that the Great Blackout caused changes
in these oscillations.
A new paper by astrophysicist Morgan McLeod of the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has shown that the 400-day
cycle appears to have been halved. This pulsational cycle is probably
caused by expansion and contraction within the star. According to
simulations carried out by MacLeod and his colleagues, the convective
flow inside Betelgeuse may have risen and become material that separates
from the star.
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