Astronomers discover new radio source

(ORDO NEWS) — While observing the radio continuum of the spiral galaxy known as NGC 2082, Australian astronomers discovered a mysterious bright and compact radio source, designated J054149.24-641813.7. The origin and nature of this source is unknown and requires further study.

In general, radio sources are various objects in the universe that emit a relatively large number of radio waves. Among the strongest sources of such radiation are pulsars, some nebulae, quasars, and radio galaxies.

Now, a team of astronomers led by Joel Balzan of the University of Western Sydney in Australia is reporting the discovery of a new source of radio emission whose true nature is still unclear.

While observing NGC 2082 with the Australian Pathfinder Square Kilometer Array (ASKAP), the Australian Compact Array Telescope (ATCA) and the Parkes Radio Telescope, they discovered a strong point radio source located 20 arcseconds (arcseconds or seconds of arc) from the center of the galaxy.

NGC 2082 is a G-type spiral galaxy in the constellation Dorado, located about 60 million light-years from Earth, with a diameter of approximately 33,000 light-years.

The astronomers concluded that J054149.24-641813.7 is more likely to be an extragalactic background source such as a quasi-stellar object (QSO, quasar), radio galaxy, or active galactic nucleus.

They added that the flat spectral index together with the somewhat weak polarization at 5500 and 9000 MHz support this hypothesis. However, there are currently no high-resolution neutral atomic hydrogen uptake data for NGC 2082 that could support this assumption.

“We found that the probability of finding such a source behind NGC 2082 is P = 1.2 percent, and concluded that the most likely source of J054149.24-641813.7 is a background quasar or radio galaxy,” the authors of the paper explained.

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