| Unknown objects at the heart of the Milky Way are beaming radio waves, then disappearing

Telescope at the Parkes Observatory sunset near the town of Parkes, Australia, July 15, 2019.

Stefica Nicol Bikes / Reuters

  • The spectacular radio waves from the center of the galaxy have fascinated astronomers.
  • The four items have been summarized radio which is not the same as any known species stars.
  • Scientists speculate that each of these four phases could come from something new and unknown.
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Ziteng Wang found a needle in a haystack.

Wang, a PhD student in science at the University of Sydney, was analyzing data from the Australian ASKAP radio telescope in late 2020. His research team identified 2 million objects with a telescope and was sharing everything.

The computer could detect the movements of many stars, as well as the life or death of those inside them. It found signs of pulsar (a fast-moving star), for example, or a supernova explosion. Koma one object in the center of our galaxy disturbed the computer and the researchers.

Artist’s display of an amazing radio signature from the center of the Milky Way.

Sebastian Zentilomo / University of Sydney

The item unleashed strong waves in 2020 – six signatures in nine months. Its unstable appearance and air-conditioning system did not look like what the researchers had already seen.

Even strangers, they did not find the object on X-ray, visible, or infrared light. They lost the radio signal, too, even though they listened for several months with two different radio telescopes.

It suddenly appeared again, almost a year after the first discovery, but within a day, it was gone again.

“Unfortunately, we don’t know what’s going on,” Tara Murphy, a professor at the University of Sydney who led Wang’s research team, told Insider.

It was clear that this was no ordinary dead star, like the other 2 million objects he had explored.

“That’s when we started having fun,” Murphy said.

The team sent their data to other radio astronomers, asking for feedback. Gradually, he made sure that no one had ever noticed such a thing.

Researchers’ findings: These findings may be in the anonymous group of mysterious signals from the center of the Milky Way, called “galactic center radio transients” (GCRTs). Before Wang’s discovery, only three such phenomena were identified.

GCRT’s name is “those in charge,” said Murphy, “as we try to determine who they are.”

The central region of the Milky Way galaxy, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and the 2009 Chandra X-ray Observatory.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / ESA / CXC / STScI

Murphy is “100% confident” that signatures do not come from strangers, because professional signatures can cover multiple frequencies, just as radios do for humans.

GCRT has been a secret for many years now. No one knows which star will make these unique signals, and each GCRT is different, which leads researchers to believe that the four signals do not come from the same source.

Any new discovery “adds to all the knowledge that reinforces what we already know, or adds to, or can bring about new changes,” Scott Hyman, who led the research that found the three previous GCRTs, told. Inside. “Whether these things fall into those categories, we do not know. We do not know enough about it.”

Ten years of research only found three GCRTs

Large Array Radio Telescopes on the plains of San Agustin, New Mexico.


Telescopes began to peer into the center of the Milky Way on a small radio station in the early 1990’s. But it wasn’t until the early 2000’s, when the Hyman research team was searching for ancient records from low-frequency radio telescopes, when they discovered a strange light sign. slightly from between the galaxies.

The symptom grew worse and disappeared within a few months. Unlike other temporary radios, there was no sign of X-ray imaging.

Hyman and colleagues found the first GCRT. Less than three years later, the group found another, which they called a “burper” on a radio broadcast that they broadcast every 77 hours before disappearing.

These were very “bright” signs, meaning they emitted strong waves. Hyman thought he would find many more GCRTs if he continued to research, including “dimmer,” or weak.

“We thought we were on the verge of ice,” said Hyman, a retired man who had previously worked as a science professor and researcher at Sweet Briar College. “We were hoping that, because at first it was easy to find, to get more. But I think we were lucky.”

In about 10 years of research, they have only found one GCRT. This, too, was hidden in the archives. They also studied astronomy using the Very Large Array observatory, but their sign was no longer visible.

Wang and Murphy may have discovered another GCRT, but their discovery did not reveal much about what this strange phenomenon might be.

Astronomers keep their minds unsatisfied until they find more GCRTs

Pulsar imaging, which sends X-ray round ribs.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Researchers have an opinion about GCRTs, but “no one is very satisfied,” Murphy said.

GCRTs can be neutron stars or orbiting pulsars around each other in two or three groups, so that radios from one star are later overshadowed by the others. They can be dead pulsars – exhaustion – and emitting unstable radios.

Hyman still suspects that there are some GCRTs, unknown, some of them hidden by the black dust spreading across the Milky Way.

An infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows hundreds of thousands of stars swarming in the dust of the Milky Way.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

New observations of the galaxy’s surface are much better than those of Hyman in the 2000’s. Murphy’s team plans to continue listening to the galactic center and ASKAP, simultaneously looking at the signals of their secret objects in X-ray, visual, or infrared light.

The Square Kilometer Array, which is being built here in Australia and South Africa, would be able to access GCRTs more than any other radio station in the past, Hyman said. Expected to be completed by 2028.

“I hope we can rediscover these three things, find out what they are,” Hyman said. “They may be waiting in the dark, quiet. They may be in a coma right now, but they still appear to be a very difficult weapon.”

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