Radio wave imagery captures hidden beauty of galaxy

Milky Way galaxy is a massive cosmic pinwheel made up of stars, planets, black holes & enormous clouds of dust. The bulging center of the pinwheel is incredibly dense, and plays host to a monstrous supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*

A new view of the Milky Way has revealed how the galactic center would appear to human beings if our eyes were able to detect low-frequency radio waves. The image shows the signatures of magnetic fields permeating the galactic plane, which includes regions of intense star formation and the remnants of dramatic supernova explosions.

Our Milky Way galaxy is essentially a massive cosmic pinwheel made up of stars, planets, black holes and enormous clouds of dust and gas. The bulging center of the pinwheel is incredibly dense, and plays host to a monstrous supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. From this focal point, majestic spiral arms extend outwards towards the relative emptiness of intergalactic space.

The Sun orbits the galactic center embedded in what is known as the Orion Spur – a relatively small part of the galaxy sandwiched between the grander Sagittarius and Perseus spiral arms.

On a dark night the galactic plane, looking towards the center, can be seen as a faint, blurry river of light arcing across the sky. This is the Milky Way as we perceive it, bound by the limitations of our human eyes, but we aren’t getting the whole picture.

The universe is bristling with objects that emit radiation, which we perceive as light in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sadly, most of the electromagnetic radiation (light) shooting around the cosmos exists at wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye. What we see when we look at the night sky is akin to a painting stripped of certain shades of color – beautiful but incomplete.

A newly-released image is now giving us a chance to appreciate some of the invisible beauty of the Milky Way, by revealing what the galactic center would look like to us if we could see radio waves. Ordinarily, radio waves occupy a low-frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is invisible to the naked eye.

Astronomers have discovered 27 supernova remnants in the GLEAM data, including one that may have been visible to the indigenous people of Australia when it first lit up the night sky roughly 9,000 years ago.

Spectrum

The universe is bristling with objects that emit radiation, which we perceive as light in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sadly, most of the electromagnetic radiation shooting around the cosmos exists at wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye. What we see when we look at the night sky is akin to a painting stripped of certain colors.

Facts about Galaxy

A violent explosion in a galaxy seven billion light-years away has broken the record for the brightest source of high-energy light in the Universe.

The gamma ray burst (GRB), now known as GRB 190114C, was detected on 14 January this year by two space satellites: the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Its significance has now been confirmed by more than 300 international scientists and reported in the journal Nature.

GRBs are the most violent explosions since the Big Bang and are thought to follow the collapse of massive stars or the merging of neutron stars or black holes in distant galaxies. They release an energy comparable to that emitted by the Sun during its entire life.

Within seconds of GRB 190114C’s detection, its coordinates were sent to astronomers around the world, including those at the two 64-tonne Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) telescopes in the Canary Islands.

They immediately detected particles of light – or photons – from the afterglow that clocked in at between 0.2 and one teraelectron volts (TeV): equivalent to the amount of energy released by proton collisions in the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth.

Space

“It’s a trillion times more energetic than visible light,” says co-author Gemma Anderson, from the Curtin University, Australia, node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

Anderson says the high-energy light was caused by the blast wave of material from the GRB hitting the surrounding environment. “The photons probably weren’t generated in the explosion itself,” she adds.

GRBs appear in the sky without warning, about once a day. They usually only last a few seconds, but their afterglow can be observed by telescopes like MAGIC for several minutes, and by radio telescopes for months.

The researchers say the new results, together with a very complete multi-wavelength overview, provide the first unequivocal evidence for a distinct emission process in the afterglow.

It is likely, they add, that the high-energy light is emitted by the “inverse Compton process”, where the highest-energy electrons in the jet crash into lower-energy gamma rays and boost them to much higher energies.

Substance

Gamma ray burst was detected on 14 Januar y, 2019
GRBs are the most violent explosions since the Big Bang