A serene gashalo has been found around a galaxy about 4 billion light years from Earth – but it is much less dense and turbulent than experts had expected.
The halo was detected by analyzing a mysterious so-called & # 39; fast radio burst & # 39; who had gone through it when it was on its way to earth.
These eruptions are mysterious and powerful energy pulses from distant galaxies, the origin of which is not yet known.
However, the way in which such pulses are distorted as they pass through galactic halos can help us determine the characteristics of the halos.
Galactic halos were rather difficult to analyze because they cannot be seen with telescopes, but studying them can reveal how galaxies shed matter and evolve.
Scroll down for video
A serene gashalo has been found around a galaxy 4 billion light years from Earth – but it is much calmer than experts expected. The halo was detected by analyzing a mysterious so-called & # 39; fast radio burst & # 39; who had gone through it when it was on its way to earth
Astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Macquart of Curtin University in Australia and the Perth-based International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and colleagues discovered the quiet halo around a galaxy that they have named FG-181112.
"The gas halo can even extend 10 times further than the stars in a galaxy, and can contain a substantial amount of matter that is in a galaxy." Macquart.
& # 39; But it is very difficult to see the gas directly with a telescope. & # 39;
Instead, the researchers examined the gas using a so-called & # 39; fast radio burst & # 39; – an enigmatic and powerful flash of energy from a distant galaxy – passing through the halo of the FG-181112 while on its way to Earth.
& # 39; Fast radio bursts come from all over the sky and last only milliseconds, & # 39; explained Dr. Macquart out.
& # 39; They contain incredible energy – equivalent to the amount the sun has released in 80 years. & # 39;
& # 39; We do not know what the cause is and have only recently been able to identify the galaxies where they come from. & # 39;
Rapid radio bursts, depicted by this artist's impression, are powerful pulses of energy from distant galaxies, the origins of which are not yet known. However, the way in which such pulses are distorted as they pass through galactic halos can help us determine the characteristics of the halos & # 39; s
With the help of the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder – a series of radio telescopes in the western interior – in November 2018, the team saw a rapid blast of radio that had passed the halo of FG-181112.
The burst – called FRB 181112 – was created in a weak galaxy about five billion light-years away from the earth.
To determine the characteristics of the halo of the FG-181112, the researchers analyzed how the passage of the gas cloud had disrupted the burst signal.
A similar distortion effect can be seen here on Earth, explains Professor Macquart.
& # 39; If you go outside on a hot summer day, you'll see the sky glisten and the trees in the background will look distorted due to temperature and density fluctuations in the sky, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; That is what we thought would happen, that the signal from the fast radio burst would be completely distorted after it had passed through the hot atmosphere of the galaxy. & # 39;
& # 39; But instead of the stormy galactic & # 39; again & # 39; that we expected, the observed pulse had traveled through a calm sea of undisturbed gas. & # 39;
This finding, the researchers suggest, suggests that galactic halos can be much more serene than expected – with gas that is less turbulent, dense and magnetized that was previously thought.
& # 39; Fast radio bursts come from all over the sky and last only milliseconds, & # 39; said Dr. Macquart. & # 39; They contain incredible energy – equal to the amount that the sun has released in 80 years & # 39;
Astronomers are interested in the nature of galactic halos because they can shine a light on how material is emitted from galaxies – a process that can cause them to stop growing.
In essence, the halos & # 39; s can be seen as a kind of & # 39; fossil record & # 39; of this divestment process, stated paper author and astrophysicist J. Xavier Prochaska, of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
& # 39; Our observations can provide theories about how matter is ejected and how magnetic fields are transpOtaken from the galaxy, & he added.
With their current study, the researchers now also want to test other galaxies to investigate the prevalence of this phenomenon. Depicted, the impression of an artist of fast radio pulses from all over the universe
With their current study, the researchers now also want to test other galaxies to investigate the prevalence of this phenomenon.
& # 39; Our research seems to reveal something completely new about galactic halos & # 39; s & # 39 ;, said Professor Prochaska.
& # 39; Unless of course this is a weird exception – and with just one object you are not sure. & # 39;
The full findings of the study were published in the journal Science.
WHAT ARE FAST RADIO BURSTS AND WHY STUDY THEM?
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are radio broadcasts that appear temporarily and randomly, making them not only difficult to find, but also difficult to study.
The mystery stems from the fact that it is not known what such a short and sharp burst could cause.
This has led some to speculate that this can be anything from stars that clash to artificially created messages.
Scientists looking for fast radio bursts (FRB & # 39; s) that some think may be signals from aliens can happen every second. The blue dots in this artist's impression of the filament structure of galaxies are signals from FRB & # 39; s
The first FRB was spotted in 2001, or rather & # 39; heard & # 39; by radio telescopes, but was only discovered in 2007 when scientists analyzed archival data.
But it was so temporary and seemingly random that it took years for astronomers to agree that it was not a glitch in any of the telescope's instruments.
Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics point out that FRBs can be used to study the structure and evolution of the universe, regardless of whether their origins are fully understood.
A large population of distant FRBs could act as probes of material over huge distances.
This intermediate material blurs the signal from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the remaining radiation from the Big Bang.
A careful study of this intervening material should provide a better understanding of fundamental cosmic components, such as the relative amounts of ordinary matter, dark matter, and dark energy that affect how rapidly the universe expands.
FRB & # 39; s can also be used to find out what the & # 39; is missing & # 39; has broken down from hydrogen atoms that the early universe has penetrated into free electrons and protons, as the temperatures after the big bang cooled down.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) sciencetech