Milky Way: Unknown 'spooky' object has been discovered

A beautiful image of the heart of the Milky Way has been revealed, as well as the presence of a 'spooky' object in our galaxy.

The universe often goes beyond fiction to give us images beyond our wildest imagination. Is this recent discovery by scientists a worst-case scenario? Australian experts claim to have discovered an unknown spinning object in the Milky Way that they say is unlike anything seen before.

A 'kind of spooky' phenomenon

The object was first spotted by a student using a telescope and a new technique he developed himself. It releases a huge burst of radio energy for a full minute every 18 minutes. Objects that emit energy in the universe are studied and known, but according to the researchers, something that lights up for a full minute is very unusual. Research is ongoing to find out more.

The student who discovered the unidentified object is part of astrophysicist Natasha Hurley-Walker's team at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). Hurley-Walker said in a statement:

This object was appearing and disappearing over a few hours during our observations. That was completely unexpected. It was kind of spooky for an astronomer because there’s nothing known in the sky that does that.

ICRAR added that after scouring years of data, the team was able to establish that the object is about 4,000 light years away from Earth.

And it’s really quite close to us—about 4,000 lightyears away. It’s in our galactic backyard.

It is incredibly bright and has an extremely strong magnetic field. Theories about what the object might be include a neutron star or a white dwarf - a term used for the remains of a collapsed star. However, much of the discovery remains unknown.

The core of the Milky Way, a realm of wonders

The Milky Way abounds with secrets. This new radio image comes from the South African Radioastronomy Observatory (SARAO). It offers an unprecedented perspective on our galaxy's core, and shows a glimpse of mysterious galactic phenomenon, such as the gigantic black hole at the centre of the galaxy. The image also shows numerous compact radio sources, which are a sign of supermassive black holes in distant galaxies.

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