LiveScience reports that astronomers have discovered a “new type of radio object” in space that has never been seen before. Although the researchers have ruled out most possible explanations, they have left some doubts, such as that these signals may be the aftermath of certain cosmic events. In a research paper entitled “Circular radio objects at high latitudes in the Milky Way”, scientists say they have not been able to determine what they are seeing.
Australian Square Area Array Pathfinder Radio Telescope (Picture via CSIRO, from: Arxiv)
When astronomers looked deep into space with the help of high-powered telescopes, they found a rather rare and unrecognizable class of objects.
It appears to have a brighter disk shape, but it doesn’t fit any known objects in the record, so the team gave a unique name (the odd radio disc, or ORC) to learn more about them.
Study Illustration – 1: Radio Continuous Images
As LiveScience reported, the researchers quickly ruled out many suspicions, including newborn galaxies, nebulae, or supernovae, and even suspected that the device’s imperfections or malfunctions were caused.
Among the remaining theories that cannot be proved or refuted, astronomers suspect that such strange radio discs may be the remnants of some large-scale explosions.
Study Illustration – 2: ATCA Radio Continuous Image
ORCs are so difficult to explain because their radio signal wavelengths can be detected but not observed by visible or infrared light.
They may seem like pure radio signals, but the same shape suggests that the signal may have radiated from the center shop, supporting the idea that the mysterious radio disk is a cosmic shock wave that is spreading into space.
Study Illustration – 3: ASKAP Continuous Radio Image of ORC 1
Even so, researchers don’t know exactly why, how young the mysterious objectises are, or what will happen in the future.
Even more embarrassingly, if the signal source of the mysterious radio disc is from the Milky Way, how far is it from us?
Study Illustration – 4: ASKAP Radio Continuous Image of ORC 2
“As far as we know, we have found a new type of radio object that appears to be disk-shaped,” the researchers wrote. It has a brighter edge under some conditions and may sometimes contain a galaxy at the center, but no known type of radio object can be on it.”
Based on this, the researchers speculate that the ORC may represent a new type of object found in radio astronomical images. In some ORCs, brightening edges or representing a spherical object, but this in turn implies the residuals of some spherical waves from transient events.