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Mysterious radio waves detected from the center of the Milky Way

Mysterious radio waves detected from the center of the Milky Way

Strange radio signals come from the center of the Milky Way. They scroll and stop seemingly at random, and their source seems different than anything we’ve seen before.

The source of this radiation was called “Andy’s body” after the astronomer Zhiteng Wang From the University of Sydney, also known as Andy. He was the first to discover radio waves. In 2020, Wang and colleagues saw the emissions six times using the Australian Pathfinder Square Kilometer Array radio telescope. Then they made further observations with the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa.

Researchers Discover That thing lights up every now and then for a few weeks, but it was dark most of the time. When it began transmitting again last February — several months after its initial discovery — astronomers pointed to some of Earth’s most powerful non-radio telescopes on the object. However, they did not see anything.

“We’ve looked at every other wavelength we can reach — all the way from infrared through optical to X-ray — but we don’t see anything,” the astrophysicist says. David Kaplan of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a member of the research team. “So it doesn’t seem consistent with any other type of star that we know of.”

small but powerful

The fact that the object was not visible at any other wavelength range ruled out several possible explanations. That’s how we know it’s not an ordinary star or a star magnetic, a neutron star with a strong magnetic field.

Whatever Andy’s goal, the file polarization From the radio waves anyway indicates that it probably contains a strong magnetic field. Also, the object looks small. The researchers deduced this from the fact that their brightness varies by up to 100 factors during flares, and these “brushes” disappear very quickly – sometimes within a day.

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No known celestial body possesses all of these strange properties. “It’s an interesting thing, and one that has so far spoiled all our efforts to explain it,” Kaplan says. “Maybe one day we’ll find out that it’s just a strange specimen from a known class of organisms. But that would push the boundaries of the way we think these things behave.”