Astronomers spot four mysterious, circular objects in space using radio telescopes

The objects could be a spherical shock wave generated from the blast from powerful events such as fast radio bursts, gamma-ray bursts or neutron star mergers.


Astronomers often chance upon interesting findings in space and the objects they come by in the universe. A team of astronomers has now noticed four strange circular objects in space using a radio telescope called the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

Three of the four circular objects are bright around the edges, reported The Independent. The scientists who observed them do not have any definitive explanation about the formation of such objects.

The findings of the researchers have been published on arXiv and it has been submitted for publication in Nature Astronomy.

 Astronomers spot four mysterious, circular objects in space using radio telescopes

The radio telescope - the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder used to look at these strange objects. Image credit: Swinburne Astronomy Productions, CSIRO

The scientists speculate that the strange circular objects could be a spherical shock wave generated from the blast from powerful events such as fast radio bursts, gamma-ray bursts or neutron star mergers.

They say that the objects could be the result of looking at the jets of a radio galaxy down the end or might be a variety of different things, which have been spotted at the same time because of new observational capabilities.

"[The objects] may well point to a new phenomenon that we haven't really probed yet. It may also be that these are an extension of a previously known class of objects that we haven't been able to explore," Live Science quoted Kristine Spekkens, an astronomer at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen's University, as saying. Spekkens was not involved with the new study.

The circular objects spotted by radiotelescopes in the EMU Pilot Survey. Image: EMU/Norris et al.

The circular objects spotted by radiotelescopes in the Evolutionary Map of the Universe Pilot Survey. Image: EMU/Norris et al/ASKA Pathfinder

The three objects were spotted while mapping the night sky in radio frequencies. The mapping was done as a part of a pilot survey for a new project called the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU).

The astronomers found the fourth one in archival data collected by the Giant MetreWave Radio Telescope in India. The objects have been dubbed odd radio circles (ORCs) because of their shape and peculiarity.


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