Astronomers observed an unusual space “jellyfish” on a radio telescope

Researchers from Australia and Italy used the MWA telescope to observe the galaxy cluster Abell 2877, but during these observations they drew attention to the ultra-high-spectrum synchrotron source (USS): it resembled a jellyfish in its contours.

The authors made observations with the MWA (Murchison Widefield Array) radio telescope at the Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory in Western Australia.

We looked at the data and, decreasing the frequency, saw how a ghostly structure, similar to a jellyfish, began to appear. Although the image is very bright at normal FM radio frequencies, at 200 megahertz the radiation is practically lost. No other extragalactic radiation that has been observed previously disappeared so quickly.

Torrance Hodgson, lead author at Curtin University
The ultra-high-spectrum synchrotron source (USS) looked like a jellyfish, so it was named USS Jellyfish.

The authors believe that this unusual phenomenon is related to the events that happened two billion years ago with a handful of galaxies that spewed powerful jets of plasma. Then the plasma dimmed and, one might say, was at rest.

More recently, however, the plasma began to mix after very soft shock waves passed through the system. This reignited the plasma. As a result, we saw her in a jellyfish-like shape.

However, this phenomenon can only be observed with low-frequency radio telescopes. Most radio telescopes cannot provide the necessary conditions for observing it due to their design or location. The authors hope that new data on the mysterious structure will be obtained after the completion of the project to deploy the SKA radio interferometer.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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