Powerful eruptions from deep space help to identify the hidden matter around the galaxy

Scientists have discovered in an innovative way that powerful radio pulses originating from the depths of the universe can be used to study the hidden gas halos around galaxies.

BingMag.com Powerful eruptions from deep space help to identify the hidden matter around the galaxy

Scientists have discovered in an innovative way that powerful radio pulses originating from the depths of the universe can be used to study the hidden gas halos around galaxies.

The first fast radio burst was discovered in 2007 and since then Hundreds more have been identified so far. In 2020, the California Institute of Technology's Astronomical Transient Radio Emission Survey 2 (STARE2) instrument and Canada's Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) detected a powerful radio burst in our Milky Way galaxy.

Previous findings have helped support the theory that the energetic events most likely originate from dead, magnetic stars called magnetars.

With increasing detections of fast radio bursts, scientists They are now investigating how to use them to study the gas that lies between us and the explosions. Specifically, they plan to use this phenomenon to probe haloes of gas scattered around galaxies.

As the radio pulses travel toward Earth, the gas surrounding the galaxies is expected to attenuate and scatter the waves. Slow.

In a new study published last month in the journal Nature Astronomy, a research team examined a sample of 474 distant fast radio bursts detected by CHIME. They showed that a subset of twenty fast radio bursts that passed through galactic haloes actually slowed down more than non-intersecting fast radio bursts. "Our study shows that fast radio bursts can excite all the material between our radio telescopes and the source of the radio waves," California said. We have used galaxies near the Milky Way and measured their hidden material."

The study also states that more material was found around the galaxies than expected, and its amount is about twice as much as predicted by theoretical models.

All galaxies are contained and nourished by the giant halo of gas from which they were born. Although this gas is very rare and difficult to detect, these gas reservoirs are huge. "If the human eye could see the spherical halo that surrounds the Andromeda Galaxy, it would appear a thousand times larger than the Moon," Connor noted.

Researchers have developed various methods to study these hidden halos. For example, Caltech physics professor Christopher Martin and his team built an instrument at the WM Keck Observatory called the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) that can detect the filaments of gas flowing from haloes into galaxies. Explore.

Now this new method, using fast radio bursts, allows astronomers to measure the total amount of material in haloes. This work could be used to help understand how galaxies grow and evolve over time.

This is just the beginning, according to Ravi. "As we discover more eruptions, our method can be used to study individual haloes of different sizes and in different environments, addressing the unsolved problem of how matter is distributed in the universe," he said. May the discovery of fast radio bursts continue well into the future. The California Institute of Technology's 110-dish Synoptic Array (DSA-110) has so far detected several FRBs along with their host galaxies. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is located at Caltech's Owen Valley Radio Observatory near Bishop, California.

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In the coming years, Caltech researchers plan to build a larger array called DSA-2000, which will include 2,000 radio telescope dishes and It will be the most powerful radio observatory ever built. This radio observatory, funded by Schmidt Futures and NSF, will be able to detect thousands of fast radio bursts and their sources per year.

Cover photo: Using fast radio bursts as background light to inform galaxy halos
Credit: Charles Carter

Source: SciTechDaily

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