Universe is full of mystery and unimaginable things. But recently astronomers have discovered 4 faint objects at radio wavelengths are highly circular and brighter along their edges. Astronomers claims they’re out of any class of astronomical object ever seen before.
The objects, slightly look like distant ring-shaped islands, have been dubbed odd radio circles or termed as ORCs due to their shapes. Astronomers don’t yet know exactly how far away these objects are, but they could be linked to distant galaxies. All these objects were found away from the Milky Way’s galactic plane.
In a new paper detailing about the discovery, the astronomers offered several possible explanations about these objects, but none quite explain the existence for all those new ORCs. After ruling out objects like supernovas, star-forming galaxies, planetary nebulas and gravitational lensing – a magnifying effect due to the bending of space-time by nearby massive objects — among other things, the astronomers speculate that the objects could be shockwaves leftover from some extragalactic event or possibly activity from a radio galaxy.
“The objects may well point to a new phenomenon that we haven’t really probed yet,” quoted by Kristine Spekkens, astronomer at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen’s University, who was not involved with the new study. “It may also be that these are an extension of a previously known class of objects that we haven’t been able to explore.” Spekkens added that the objects could also be caused by different phenomena. All four ORCs are bright at radio wavelengths but invisible in visible, infrared and X-ray light. But two of the ORCs have galaxies at their center that can be seen at visible wavelengths, which suggests that these objects might have been formed by those galaxies . Two ORCs also appear to be very close together, meaning their origins could be linked.
With only four of these peculiar objects discovered so far, the astronomers don’t have the idea about the true nature of these structures. But the EMU survey is just beginning, and astronomers expect it to reveal more unusual objects in upcoming days.
The paper, which is available on the preprint site arXiv, has been submitted for publication to the journal Nature Astronomy, where it is still under review.