Due to its vastness, there is a lot to hover in the universe that astronomers are totally unaware of. Thus, they do not always recognize the phenomena and need to deepen their study. In this case, they picked up a mysterious signal from the center of the galaxy.
According to them, it could represent a new class of objects.
A group of astronomers from the University of Sydney have discovered a mysterious source of radio signals. Although it remains unknown, according to Science Alert, scientists have dubbed it ASKAP J173608.2-321635.
In an article related to the phenomenon, astronomers describe it as “a highly polarized and variable radio source, located near the galactic center and without a clear counterpart of several lengths”. According to them, “ASKAP J173608.2-321635 may represent part of a new class of objects which are discovered through radio image probes”. In addition, it is highly variable in that it emits radio waves for long periods at a time before suddenly disappearing for several months.
The mysterious source of radio signals was discovered by chance, while astronomers were only analyzing data from (ASKAP). One of the most sensitive radio telescopes ever built, this one was specially designed to pick up radio signals from deep in the universe.
ASKAP J173608.2-32163 was first observed in April 2019, when ASKAP detected it while searching for radio transmitters. Between that date and August 2020, the same object was detected 13 more times. In turn, this year it was identified by the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa in February and by the Australian Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in April.
The source has not appeared in any x-rays, infrared observations or old radio signal files verified by researchers at the University of Sydney. That is to say that astronomers have ruled out the possibilities initially envisaged: it is not a supernova, a pulsar or a hot star.
However, it shares some properties with mysterious signals once seen near the center of the galaxy, known as Galactic Center Radio Transients (GCRTs). Three of them were seen in the early 2000s and the scientific community has yet to find an explanation for the phenomenon.
As investigators move forward, the next observations of ASKAP J173608.2-32163 will provide a better understanding of what it really looks like.