Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

Astronomers have invented a bizarre set of radio signals coming from the center of our Milky Way.

Scientists in particular are amazed at this set of signals because they do not match any known astrophysical radio source.

Ziteng Wang from the University of Sydney has been monitoring this bizarre pattern and has published his findings in The Astrophysical Journal.

He said it could come from a new type of celestial body.

“At first we thought it might be a pulsar, a very dense and rapidly rotating remnant nucleus. A star with huge eruptions was also discussed … The signals from this new source do not match anything we expect from known star objects,” he said.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

They first took the signals while scanning the sky with the Australian Telescope Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope in outback Western Australia.

Professor Tara Murphy, co-author of the study, explained how the signals are inconsistent as to when they are detected.

“Sometimes it seems to stay on, detectable for days or weeks at a time, and other times it can turn on and off in a single day, which is extremely fast for an astronomical object,” Murphy said.

Not only are the signals strange, but the object emitting them appears to be very unique.

According to Science News, the celestial body was almost invisible when it was first discovered before it became lighter, then weakened and then reappeared.

This fluctuating appearance happened at least six times over the course of nine months last year.

Scientists used other types of telescopes to see if they could measure it on the visible light spectrum, but did not invent anything.

“This object was so bright that if it were a star, we should be able to see it in visible light,” Professor Murphy said. “But … we did not see it at all, it was completely invisible.

“So then we have this situation where we have ruled out the two most likely explanations.”

The second reason they think it’s some kind of new celestial body is that the signals are ‘adjusted in a rotating direction’.

Prof Murphy said, “It excludes almost all astronomical objects we know of.”

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