The mysterious “bridge” of radio waves between galaxies seems to break (but not) the laws of physics


On the highway map of the universe, a cluster of busy galaxies is connected by a long plasma road that meanders across the desert of empty space. These interimimensional orbits are known as strands and can reach hundreds of millions of light years, filled with dust, gas, and charged electrons, and move very close to universal speed.

Even if particles move closer to the speed of light, they must be able to degrade a portion of these fibers before they run out of juice and decompose. However, a team of astronomical spirals patrolling between two groups of galaxies that slowly collapsed have found electrons that do not comply with these traffic rules. In the gas strands between the galaxy clusters Abell 0399 and Abell 0401, the researchers found a large bridge of emission of radio waves produced by charged particles that penetrated far more than 10 million light years than would otherwise be possible.

The source of this cosmic traffic violation, according to a new study published June 7 in the journal Science, might be that a faint but turbulent magnetic field that extends from one galaxy cluster to another mysteriously creates a particle accelerator that continues electrons 10 times besides you can travel. [12 Strangest Objects in the Universe]

According to study lead author Federica, a researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics in Italy dumping, this is the first observation of a magnetic field through a screw that ends and can call a rethinking of how particles are accelerated from a great distance. .

“This is a very weak magnetic field, about 1 million times smaller than Earth,” Govoni said in a video accompanying the study. However, he and his colleagues wrote in the article, which may still be strong enough to accelerate shock waves that are able to rapidly emit particles through extraordinary lengths to emit processes – effectively creating electronic highways.

Bridge between giants
This hotel is located about one billion light years away, Abell 0399 and Abell 0401 groups of adjacent galaxies – groups of hundreds or thousands of galaxies, all gravitationally bound together representing some of the most massive objects in the universe. In a few billion years, two groups are likely to face; So far, they are about 10 million light years away and are connected with the previously mentioned Plasmaweg.

In previous research, Hawny and his colleagues found that each of the two groups produced the magnetic field emitted by radio waves. In their new work, researchers want to know whether this field transcends the boundaries of two large objects – and whether it can go down especially in the large plasma arc between them.

Using a telescope network, known as the Low Frequency Grid (LOFAR), researchers can detect long “ridge” emission radios that uniquely connect one cluster to the next cluster.

“This problem requires a relativistic [velocity] electron population and thread-oriented magnetic fields between two galaxy clusters,” the study authors wrote. As clusters without other radioiztochnitsi are clear, the team concluded that it is possible for high magnetic fields and interactions between particles that occur in clusters.

After conducting several computer simulations, the team found that even relatively weak magnetic fields (like this) can produce strong waves strong enough to accelerate electrons to accelerate again and make them slow down along the spiral. However, this is only one possible explanation for a phenomenon which researchers say is still a mystery. Fortunately, scientists still have several billion years to solve the problem.

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