100 times bigger than the Milky Way!Dutch astronomers discover mysterious object in deep space

2022-05-14 0 By

Astronomers have discovered one of the largest structures in the known universe, the Sun reported Monday.The object is a huge stream of ultra-hot material, about 16 million light-years across and 100 times wider than our own Milky Way Galaxy.That means it would take humanity’s existing spacecraft about 170 billion years to fly from one end of the structure to the other, reports the radio galaxy Alcyoneus.The team that discovered the object, led by Dutch researchers, named it Alcyoneus in a paper shared online this week, a so-called “radio galaxy” — long, bright jets of matter erupting from the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center.They provide the basis for the eventual formation of stars and planets, and are therefore crucial to the life cycle of galaxies in the universe.Martin, the lead researcher on the study, said further analysis of Alcyoneus could eventually shed light on how these mysterious objects evolved.Astronomers usually only see light from stars, making it difficult to image objects outside the galaxy.But the team used a technique that reduces the resolution of LOFAR’s line-spectrum image to catch faint radio waves in blurred space.They found Alcyoneus when they “blurred” an image of a galaxy about 3 billion light-years from Earth.The object, traveling 16 million light-years across, is the largest structure ever discovered created by a single galaxy and one of the largest objects ever discovered in the known universe, the report said.Because so little is known about radio galaxies, scientists had previously hypothesized that larger radio galaxies were created by larger black holes.However, this new study turns that idea on its head, researchers say, because there’s nothing special about the black hole from which Alcyoneus originated.The research has been accepted and published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.(Edit: WDQ)