Royal Astronomical Society Press Release
RAS PN 10/27 (NAM 12) 14-April-2010
Radio astronomers at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory have discovered a strange new object in a nearby galaxy. The object, which appeared very suddenly in radio wavelengths and shows no signs of going away, does not appear to be like anything that has been seen in the Milky Way. Dr Tom Muxlow will present the discovery at the National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday 14th April.
The galaxy, known as M82, is 10 million light years away and is a stellar production line churning out new stars at a prodigious rate. However, many of these stars die quickly in huge explosions, with a new supernova explosion occurring every 20 to 30 years.
M82 taken by the Spitzer Telescope. The hot plasma generated in supernova
explosions has produced a hot wind which can be seen escaping from the nuclear
region of M82 in the Spitzer telescope infra-red image of the galaxy where dust
emission (coloured red) is detected. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)