(ORDO NEWS) — A Dutch-Italian-German team of astronomers observed the glow of radio emission around a cluster of thousands of galaxies.
They combined data from thousands of LOFAR antennas that were focused over 18 nights over an area the size of four full moons.
This is the first time that astronomers have been able to record the radio emission of such a large area over such a long time in such detail.
Astronomers have been studying Abell 2255. This cluster of thousands of galaxies lies about a billion light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Draco.
The new images are 25 times sharper and contain 60 times less noise than images taken with the predecessor LOFAR.
“Based on the new images and our calculations, we believe that the radio emission from Abell 2255 was generated during the formation of the cluster,” said study leader Andrea Botteon, adding that this is the first time that astronomers have studied these processes very far from the center of the cluster.
“In our theory, we assume that the particles are accelerated by the huge turbulence and shock that occurs during the formation of the cluster. In turn, these movements can also amplify magnetic fields,” said Botteon.
In the future, the researchers want to target LOFAR telescopes and yet-to-be-built telescopes like the Square Kilometer Array to other galaxy clusters.
In addition, they intend to observe Abell 2255 in more detail. So they hope to learn more about the cosmic web that connects clusters of galaxies.
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