Galaxy’s new mystery object: What could it be?The answer is curious

2022-06-23 0 By

A new mysterious object in our Milky Way There are hundreds of mysterious objects in our home galaxy, the Milky Way.Consider just last week’s announcement that nearly 1,000 bizarre fibers (or strands of thread) have appeared at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.Some are more than 150 light-years from Earth.In the second half of January 2022, astronomers say they’ve spotted another mysterious object.This discovery is more like a star, but unlike anything astronomers have seen before.One flickered for a minute, then went off for nearly 18 minutes, then started again.So much fun!This is as far as we know.Astronomers call such objects transient.The position mentioned above is in the direction of the Square constellation, in the southern hemisphere of the stars.In any case, the transient sent a radio wave through the earth.It is one of the brightest sources of radio waves in the night sky, appearing about three times an hour.Sometimes a star’s demise produces what astronomers call a soft transient.They shine for the first few days and then disappear after a few months.A supernova, for example, is a slow transient.The death of other stars can cause fast transient.A type of neutron star called a pulsar also emits a beam that lets us see it flicker.But pulsars flash very fast, in milliseconds or seconds.So you might notice that the brightness period of this new object is somewhere between slow and fast.It’s not measured in days, it’s not measured in seconds…But in minutes, very novel.The scientists who studied it are part of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).The peer-reviewed journal Nature published their findings on January 26.Mysterious objects visible in radio waves.Doherty was (and is) a PhD student at Curtin University in Western Australia when he spotted the novelty flickering object.He was using a new technique he had developed through the Murchison Wide Field Array, a radio telescope in Australia, when he stumbled upon the new objects.O ‘Doherty said: it was really exciting that a new object I found last year turned out to be so strange.It was very exciting, especially for me as a new astronomy student.Astronomers found that the object flickered like other transient objects, but in a way they had never seen before.Natasha Hurley-Walker, lead author from ICRAR and Curtin University, said: “During our observations, the object appeared and disappeared repeatedly for several hours.It’s very unexpected, and even a little spooky for astronomers, because nothing else in the sky is known to be like this.It’s really close: about 4,000 light years away, as if it were in the Milky Way’s backyard.What on earth is this mysterious object?All objects in space are spinning.So it’s safe to say that the new object is also rotating, and as the beam sweeps across the Earth, it appears in front of us as radio waves.Astronomers think the object rotates on a time scale of minutes.But how does this come about?The team of scientists already has some ideas about what the new object is.They think the object resembles the collapsed core of a star.Stellar debris can become neutron stars or white dwarfs.When you study transients, you’re looking at the death of a massive star or the activity of what’s left behind, says Gemma Anderson of Curtin University and ICRAR.As to why it flashes on a time scale of minutes…We don’t know yet.A powerful magnetic Field One sign that this mysterious new object appears to have a super strong magnetic field.The super-bright object, smaller than the sun, sends out highly polarized radio waves.It’s these polarized radio waves that hint at a very strong magnetic field.Astronomers had predicted the existence of such an unusual object, which they called a super-long-period magnetar.Dr Hurley-walker, of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy research at Curtin University in Australia, said: it has been predicted that this is a slowly rotating neutron star, and in theory it exists.But no one expected to detect stars like this directly, because we didn’t expect them to be this bright.It somehow converts magnetic energy into radio waves far more efficiently than anything we’ve seen before.Artists believe the mysterious object is a magnetar.Magnetars are supermagnetic neutron stars that sometimes emit radio radiation.The magnetar spins fast, making a revolution every few seconds.But there could also be “super-long-period magnetars” that spin much more slowly.Image from ICRAR.Search for more Mysterious Objects This mysterious object only appeared in astronomers’ data for three months, then disappeared completely.Astronomers are keeping a close eye on its reappearance.In the meantime, they’re looking for more objects like this.Dr Hurley-walker, of curtin University’s International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Australia, said: More detections will tell us ultimately whether this is a rare one-off event or a large new group that we have never noticed before.Astronomers are expecting the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope to be operational within the next decade.It will be the world’s largest radio telescope, helping astronomers uncover even more mysterious objects in the universe.Bottom line: Astronomers have discovered a new mystery object that emits bright radio waves three times an hour for about a minute.BY: Kelly Kizer WhittFY: Astronomical Volunteer Team