Strange radio sources in a distant cluster of galaxies seem to defy physics

(ORDO NEWS) — New observations of the far-flung galaxy cluster Abell 3266 have baffled the research team, and scientists are now wondering if they have discovered a “new form of physics.”

In their new paper , researchers Tessa Wernstrom of the University of Western Australia and Christopher Reisley of the University of Bologna in Italy describe how they discovered strange large objects emitting low-frequency radio waves while studying a cluster of galaxies about 800 million light-years from Earth.

Using radio and X-ray telescopes in the galaxy cluster Abell 3266, three large objects were discovered that are sources of radio waves – a radio relic of deep space.

Strange Objects of the Universe

The detected objects were too faint to be identified directly, so behind their discovery is a complex algorithm for processing data from telescopes, applied by scientists.

In addition, the ancient remnants of a supermassive black hole (it stopped receiving material from its galaxy, and the radiation emitted earlier is gradually disappearing) were discovered, which created the Abell 3266 galaxy cluster.

The radio relic Abell 3266, in particular the arc of radio waves that attracted the attention of researchers, turned out to be similar to a sonic shock wave that is “powered by shock waves traveling through the plasma.”

According to scientists, this arc is unlike any radio object that astrophysicists have ever seen before, and this is due to its very unusual concave shape, which earned the arc the nickname “Wrong Path”.

Strange radio sources in a distant cluster of galaxies seem to defy physics 2
The Wrong Path relic in Abell 3266 is shown here in yellow, orange and red

“If this is a shock wave, then you might think that it should curve like an arc around the edge [of the source of the shock wave], ” Wernstrom told ABC Australia, “but this wave is inverted.”

Wrong Way

“Our best physical models simply don’t match the data,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

“This highlights gaps in our understanding of how these sources evolve – gaps that we are working to address.”

This means that the available theoretical models contradict the observational data obtained by Reisley and Wernstrom.

“Perhaps there is some new physics going on that we don’t fully understand, as our models don’t match the observations,” Wernstrom concluded.


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