New giant galactic laser discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — A powerful natural laser emitting in the radio range, which is called a “megamaser”, was observed by scientists using radio antennas of the MeerKAT array located in South Africa.

This object is the most distant megamaser of its kind ever discovered by astronomers, as it is located at a distance of about five billion light-years from Earth.

The light coming from this megamaser traveled 58 thousand billion billion (58 with 21 zero) kilometers in space before reaching our planet.

The discovery was made by an international team of astronomers led by Dr. Marcin Glowacki of the International Center for Radio Astronomy at Curtin University, Australia.

Megamasers are usually formed in the Universe during powerful collisions between two galaxies.

“When galaxies collide, the gas in them becomes very dense and capable of passing very concentrated beams of light through it,” said Glovatsky.

“This object was the first hydroxyl maser observed with the MeerKAT radio telescope, and the most distant maser of this type ever observed with telescopes.”

This amazing object was named Nkalakatha.

According to Dr. Głowacki, this megamaser was discovered on the very first night of observations as part of a survey of the sky, which involves observations with the MeerKAT observatory in excess of 3000 hours.

The team uses the MeerKAT observatory to make deep observations of narrow regions of the sky and measure the amounts of atomic hydrogen in galaxies from the distant past to the present day.

Joint observations of hydroxyl masers and hydrogen will help astronomers better understand the evolution of the universe over time.

“We have planned additional observations of this megamaser and look forward to many new discoveries,” Dr. Głowacki said.

The MeerKAT telescope is the scientific predecessor of the Square Kilometer Array project, a global project to build the world’s largest radio telescopes in Western Australia and South Africa.

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