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Astronomers detect a new radio source of unknown origin
Three-color HST image of NGC 2082 overlaid with ASKAP and ATCA contours. The inset image in the bottom-left provides a zoom in of J054149.24–641813.7, showing the absence of any optical counterpart. Credit: Balzan et al., 2022.

Astronomers discovered a bright and compact radio source during their observations of a spiral galaxy. This source is unknown and requires further investigation. The finding is reported in a paper that was published in May.

Radio sources emit large amounts of radio waves in the universe. Some of the strongest sources of emission are pulsars, quasars, and radio galaxies.

A new radio source has been found by a team of Astronomers led by Joel Balzan of Western Sydney University in Australia. They were able to identify a strong point radio source from the galaxy center using the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and Parkes radio telescope. There is a G-type spiral galaxy located 60 million light years away from the Earth and has a diameter of 33,000 light years.

We present radio continuum observations of NGC 2082 using ASKAP, ATCA and Parkes telescopes. The researchers discovered a bright and compact radio source that was 20 seconds from the center of the spiral galaxy.

The study found that the radio luminosity of J054149.24 is at a level of 129 hertz and that it has a flat radio wavelength of 0.02. According to the astronomer, the scenario in which J054149.24 may be a supernova remnant or a pulsar is not true.

The researchers noted that the compact nature of J054149.24 is reminiscent of some fast radio bursts. The results show that J054149. 24 is not bright enough to be a persistent radio source.

The most likely remaining possibility is that J054149.24 is an extragalactic background source. The hypothesis is supported by the flat spectral index and weak polarization at 5,500 and 9,000 MHz. There is currently no high resolution neutral atomic hydrogen absorption data for the area.

The authors of the paper found that the most likely origin for J054149.24 is a background quasar.

More information: Joel C. F. Balzan et al, A Radio Continuum Study of NGC 2082. arXiv:2205.11144v1 [astro-ph.GA],

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Citation: Astronomers detect a new radio source of unknown origin (2022, May 31) retrieved 31 May 2022 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.