ICRAR: MWA Discovers Remnants of Dead Stars in Milky Way Center

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ICRAR: MWA Discovers Remnants of Dead Stars in Milky Way Center

Post by bystander » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:14 pm

Outback Telescope Captures Milky Way
Center, Discovers Remnants of Dead Stars

International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) | 2019 Nov 20
gold_asinh.jpg
This image shows a new view of the Milky Way from the Murchison Widefield Array, with
the lowest frequencies in red, middle frequencies in green, and the highest frequencies
in blue. Huge golden filaments indicate enormous magnetic fields, supernova remnants
are visible as little spherical bubbles, and regions of massive star formation show up in
blue. The supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy is hidden in the bright
white region in the centre. Credit: N. Hurley-Walker (ICRAR/Curtin) / GLEAM Team

A radio telescope in the Western Australian outback has captured a spectacular new view of the centre of the galaxy in which we live, the Milky Way. The image from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope shows what our galaxy would look like if human eyes could see radio waves.

Astrophysicist Dr. Natasha Hurley-Walker ... created the images using the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth. “This new view captures low-frequency radio emission from our galaxy, looking both in fine detail and at larger structures,” she said. “Our images are looking directly at the middle of the Milky Way, towards a region astronomers call the galactic centre.”

The data for the research comes from the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, or ‘GLEAM’ for short. The survey has a resolution of two arcminutes (about the same as the human eye) and maps the sky using radio waves at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz (FM radio is near 100 MHz). ...

Using the images, Dr. Hurley-Walker and her colleagues discovered the remnants of 27 massive stars that exploded in supernovae at the end of their lives. These stars would have been eight or more times more massive than our Sun before their dramatic destruction thousands of years ago.

Younger and closer supernova remnants, or those in very dense environments, are easy to spot, and 295 are already known. Unlike other instruments, the MWA can find those which are older, further away, or in very empty environments. ...

New Candidate Radio Supernova Remnants Detected in the
GLEAM Survey Over 345° < l < 60°, 180° < l < 240°
~ Natasha Hurley-Walker et al Candidate Radio Supernova Remnants Observed by the
GLEAM Survey Over 345° < l < 60°, 180° < l < 240°
~ Natasha Hurley-Walker et al GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array (GLEAM)
Survey II: Galactic Plane 345° < l < 67°, 180° < l < 240°
~ Natasha Hurley-Walker et al
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