About 25,000 light-years away, Sagittarius A* is a supermassive black hole more than 4 million times the mass of our Sun. This black hole dominates a special cosmic realm, where astronomers, after years of observations, have cast their sharpest eyes yet.
The researchers fed raw measurement data from MeerKAT telescope radio dishes — about 70 terabytes of data — to a supercomputer. He translated the data into these gorgeous images of the messy center of our cosmic home.
Researching radio waves
This resulted in images that your eyes cannot see, simply because people are looking at radiation that we call “visible light.” Our eyes are insensitive to radio waves of longer wavelengths. So anyone who wants to “look” at radio waves needs tools.
The main image, which appears to be the product of a painter raving in red paint on a smoky gray canvas, is actually more than 1,500 times the size of our solar system and occupies an area in the sky about thirty times the size of a full moon. moreover Research team published Three close-ups reveal unusual details.
fiery orange eye
One of these close-up shots shows a mysterious orbit, in fact, the slowly expanding remnant of a former supernova, the cosmic explosion killing large stars.
The fiery orange eye is clearly visible in the main photo and one of the close-up shots, and it is the brightest object in the photos. That eye bow a*.
The edge of the so-called galactic super bubble, a spherical region in which there is relatively little gas, also rubs in the upper left. It is believed that a supernova explosion swept it empty.
Mysterious Dancing Snakes
However, the most mysterious are the graceful lines that dance across radio images like snakes. Some of them are a hundred times larger than our solar system: our parent star constellation, eight planets, and their associated flood plains. What exactly these radio filaments are, as astronomers call them, no one knows yet. They hope to find the first explanation in the new measurement data, which researchers will continue to sift through over the coming years.
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