Scientists Puzzled by Mysterious Radio Wave Source Inside Our Galaxy

It is not clear what it might be.
Radio Orchestra

ScienceAlert reports that astronomers discovered a mysterious radio signal near the centre of the Milky Way galaxy using the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder, an extremely sensitive radio telescope.

We present the discovery and characterisation of ASKAP J173608.2-321635. This radio source is highly-polarized and variable. It can be found near the Galactic Center. There is no clear multi-wavelength counterpart. A preprint paper on the research was published in The Astrophysical Journal.

ScienceAlert suggests that there is a possibility that the signal may be coming from a type of known cosmic object. However, scientists are still puzzled by the unusual radio wave signatures, which makes it nearly impossible to explain yet another sign that our knowledge of the galaxy is incomplete.

Signs of a lull

It was also extremely difficult to find the signal. It was detected 13 times during ASKAP observations from April 2019 to August 2020. However, subsequent attempts to confirm its existence with telescopes around the globe failed. The researchers say it began to appear again in Australia Telescope Compact Array, (ATCA), and South African MeerKAT radio telescope observation earlier in the year.



It is even more puzzling that the signal did not appear in X-ray and near-infrared observations. This suggests that it could be a flaring star, or close binary system.

Scientists believe it is unlikely to be a Pulsar, which is a dying star that illuminates the galaxy with magnetized emission.

The researchers are simply scratching their heads. They are unsure of the reason, and suggest that ASKAP J173608.2-321635 could be part of a new group of objects discovered by radio imaging surveys.

Researchers believe that there could be other signals similar to it. We could find an explanation for the radio signal source with more samples.



READ MORE: Something Strange Near the Galactic Center Is Sending Radio Signals [ScienceAlert]

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