The most detailed radio image of our galaxy reveals supernova ghosts

The most detailed radio image of our galaxy reveals supernova ghosts

Our galaxy, the
Milky Way, holds many mysteries. One of the questions that plagues astronomers is: “Where are all the supernova remnants?” “. Careful observations made by a pair of radio telescopes in Australia provide the beginning of an answer.

macquarie university
announcement to have produced the most detailed radio image ever obtained of our galaxy “. The image, which shows the birth zones of stars and the consequences of their death, is a combination of observations from the Askap radio telescope and the Parkes radio telescope, both operated by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

supernova is an explosion that marks the end of a star’s life. Astronomers have made predictions about how many supernova remnants the Milky Way should contain, but we haven’t yet spotted as many as expected. The work of the radio telescope duo reveals where some of these hitherto invisible remains were hiding.

The remnants of 28 supernovae in our Milky Way

Radio telescopes pick up radio waves. A telescope like
Hubble sees primarily in visible light while
James Webb uses infrared. They are different and complementary ways of “seeing” the universe.

According to CSIRO, the full image from the radio telescope shows 28 supernovae. Only seven had been detected previously. R. Kothes (NRC) and the Pegasus team

This new image highlights a region of the Milky Way, only visible by radio telescopes, where we can see extended emission associated with hydrogen gas filling the space between dying stars, linked to the birth of new stars, and hot gas bubbles called supernova remnants
says Andrew Hopkins, an astronomer at Macquarie University. The full image shows the remnants of 28 supernovae. Only seven of them had been previously identified.

This new image is just the start of a bigger supernova ghost hunt. ”
It’s estimated there could be around 1,500 more supernova remnants in the galaxy that astronomers have yet to discover
“says Andrew Hopkins. ”
Discovering these remains will help us better understand our galaxy and its history.
» article adapted by CNETFrance

Image: R. Kothes (NRC) and the Pegasus team