A group of scientists claims that BAFFLING radio waves emerging from a distant galaxy cluster are unlike anything ever witnessed – and appear to defy known physics principles.
There are several massive, low-frequency objects around 800 million light years away from Earth that have been discovered by researchers Tessa Vernstrom of the University of Western Australia and Christopher Reisely from Italy’s Universita di Bologna. Scientists employed radio and X-Ray telescopes to analyze a trio of objects situated in the Abell 3266 galaxy cluster, including a radio emission, a remnant, and a radio halo. The supermassive black hole that birthed the cluster had been hidden in plain sight until a sophisticated algorithm was applied to images captured by telescopes, and the results were revealed.
Both the origins of such things and their qualities defy existing hypotheses, according to a piece the duo wrote for the website The Conversation in which they provided several photographs of their findings. The radio relic is an arc of radio waves that resembles a sonic boom “In particular, “driven by shockwaves traveling through the plasma” drew the researchers’ attention, revealing features “never before seen.” ‘Wrong-way relic,’ they said because of its odd concave shape, was given the memorable moniker.
We’re still trying to figure out the complicated physics behind these radio particles, but our results have shattered our previous assumptions about how relics form. They noted that the radio fossil, which can be seen in the upper right of the first photograph, is reddish in color, indicating that it is quite old. That galaxy’s central black hole has been turned off for a long time, so we presume this radio emission originated there,” they said.
Physical models that are as good as ours are unable to account for the observed data. There are still gaps in our understanding of how these sources change, and we’re working to fill these gaps. Using a smart method, we defocused the lead image to seek for very low emission that is undetected at high resolution, unearthing the first observation of a radio-halo in Abell 3266.”
Abell 3266’s origins are now beginning to be revealed to me. However, our investigation has unearthed a lot of new and detailed evidence, which has prompted even more questions.” The Square Kilometre Array project is building the groundwork with the telescopes we used. “Studies like ours help astronomers to figure out what we don’t know – but you can be sure we’re going to find out,” says the lead researcher on the Square Kilometre Array project.
Dr. Verstrom told the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) that the relic was brighter in the radio spectrum than any models had predicted. We don’t really know what that tells us,” she said. It’s possible that novel physics is at play when our models don’t fit the observed data.” Many galaxy clusters exist in the universe, but “very few” like Abell 3266 have been discovered thus far, according to Dr Vernstrom. “They are basically just difficult to identify,” she said.