Radio waves

News from space: Unknown radio waves from a distant galaxy ‘defy the laws of physics’ | Science | New

A new article published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by researchers Tessa Vernstrom of the University of Western Australia and Christopher Reisely of the Italian University of Bologna describes a series of large low-frequency objects at around 800 million light years from Earth. The researchers used radio telescopes and X-ray telescopes to study the trio of objects – a fossil radio emission, a radio relic and a radio halo – located in the galaxy cluster Abell 3266.

All three were too faint to detect until researchers applied a complex algorithm to telescope imaging of the cluster – and discovered evidence of the supermassive black hole that had created it.

In an article published on The Conversation, in which they also shared several images of their research, the couple explained: “They challenge existing theories on the origins of these objects and their characteristics”.

The radio relic, an arc of radio waves shaped like a sonic boom, is ‘powered by shock waves passing through plasma’, particularly caught the researchers’ attention, they said, revealing features ‘never seen before. “.

They added: “Its concave shape is also unusual, earning it the catchy nickname of the ‘wrong way’ relic.

“Overall, our data shatters our understanding of how relics are generated, and we are still working to decipher the complex physics behind these radio objects.”

The radio fossil, seen towards the upper right corner of the main image, is very faint and red, indicating that it was ancient, they pointed out.

JUSTINE: Liz Truss’ public sector pays ‘own goal’ branded ‘politically insane’

They added: “We believe that this radio emission originally came from the lower left galaxy, with a central black hole that has long been extinct.

“Our best physical models just can’t match the data.

“It reveals gaps in our understanding of how these sources evolve – gaps that we are working to fill.


“Finally, using a clever algorithm, we defocused the main image to look for a very faint emission that is invisible at high resolution, unearthing the first detection of a radio halo in Abell 3266.

“This is the beginning of the journey to understanding Abell 3266. We have uncovered a wealth of new and detailed information, but our study has raised even more questions.

“The telescopes we used lay the groundwork for the groundbreaking science of the Square Kilometer Array project.

“The telescopes we used lay the groundwork for the groundbreaking science of the Square Kilometer Array project.

“Studies like ours allow astronomers to understand what we don’t know – but you can be sure we will find out.”

Speaking to the Australian Broadcast Company (ABC), Dr Verstrom pointed out that the relic was also much brighter in the radio spectrum than expected in all models.

She said: “So we don’t really understand what it’s telling us.

“Maybe there’s some kind of new physics going on out there that we haven’t fully understood when our models can’t match the observations.”

There are thousands of galaxy clusters in the universe, Dr Vernstrom said – but “surprisingly few” underlined objects such as those at Abell 3266 have been spotted.

She added: “They are fundamentally difficult to detect.”