Astronomers spot 4 objects in deep space unlike anything seen before - Hindustan Times
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Astronomers spot 4 objects in deep space unlike anything seen before

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Anubha Rohatgi
Jul 12, 2020 12:18 AM IST

Three of the objects were spotted using the the radio telescope Autralian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) while mapping the night sky in radio frequencies as part of a pilot survey for a new project called the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) from July to November 2019.

Astronomers have spotted four distant objects in deep space they say are unlike any astronomical object they’ve seen before.

The objects look like distant ring-shaped islands and have been named “odd radio circle” or ORCs.(File Photo used for representational purpose only)
The objects look like distant ring-shaped islands and have been named “odd radio circle” or ORCs.(File Photo used for representational purpose only)

According to LiveScience website, the objects look like distant ring-shaped islands and have been named “odd radio circle” or ORCs. Scientists are yet to figure out exactly how far these objects are but believe the ORCs could be linked to distant galaxies.

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Three of the objects were spotted using the the radio telescope Autralian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) while mapping the night sky in radio frequencies as part of a pilot survey for a new project called the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) from July to November 2019.

The fourth ORC was found in archival data collected by the Giant MetreWave Radio Telescope in India. This helped the astronomers to confirm the objects as real, rather than some anomaly caused by issues with the ASKAP telescope or the way in which the data was analysed, says the article in LiveScience website.

“[The objects] may well point to a new phenomenon that we haven’t really probed yet,” Kristine Spekkens, an astronomer at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen’s University, who was not involved with the new study, told LiveScience website.

“It may also be that these are an extension of a previously known class of objects that we haven’t been able to explore,” he added.

Seeking explanations for what these ORCs actually are, astronomers have ruled out supernovas, star-forming galaxies, planetary nebulas among other things. They believe that the objects could be shockwaves leftover from some extragalactic event or possibly activity from a radio galaxy.

But the EMU survey is just beginning, and astronomers expect it to reveal more unusual objects.

The paper, which is available on the preprint site arXiv, has been submitted for publication to the journal Nature Astronomy, where it is still under review.

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