Radio telescope images enable a new way to study magnetic fields in galaxy clusters millions of light years away — ScienceDaily

Maria J. Danford

For the first time, researchers have noticed plasma jets interacting with magnetic fields in a huge galaxy cluster 600 million gentle decades away, many thanks to the support of radio telescopes and supercomputer simulations. The findings, posted in the journal Character, can support explain how this kind of galaxy clusters evolve.

Galaxy clusters can have up to countless numbers of galaxies bound jointly by gravity. Abell 3376 is a big cluster forming as a result of a violent collision concerning two sub-clusters of galaxies. Incredibly minor is acknowledged about the magnetic fields that exist in this and comparable galaxy clusters.

“It is commonly tricky to immediately examine the construction of intracluster magnetic fields,” suggests Nagoya University astrophysicist Tsutomu Takeuchi, who was concerned in the investigation. “Our final results obviously reveal how extensive-wavelength radio observations can support take a look at this interaction.”

An worldwide team of scientists have been utilizing the MeerKAT radio telescope in the Northern Cape of South Africa to find out much more about Abell 3376’s big magnetic fields. A single of the telescope’s very higher-resolution illustrations or photos revealed a thing unanticipated: plasma jets emitted by a supermassive black hole in the cluster bend to form a distinctive T-shape as they increase outwards for distances as significantly as 326,156 gentle decades away. The black hole is in galaxy MRC 0600-399, which is in close proximity to the centre of Abell 3376.

The team blended their MeerKAT radio telescope facts with X-ray facts from the European Area Agency’s place telescope XXM-Newton to uncover that the plasma jet bend takes place at the boundary of the subcluster in which MRC 0600-399 exists.

“This advised us that the plasma jets from MRC 0600-399 were being interacting with a thing in the heated gas, called the intracluster medium, that exists concerning the galaxies in Abell 3376,” describes Takeuchi.

To figure out what was occurring, the team carried out 3D ‘magnetohydrodynamic’ simulations utilizing the world’s most strong supercomputer in the industry of astronomical calculations, ATERUI II, situated at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

The simulations showed that the jet streams emitted by MRC 0600-399’s black hole at some point attain and interact with magnetic fields at the border of the galaxy subcluster. The jet stream compresses the magnetic industry strains and moves together them, forming the characteristic T-shape.

“This is the first discovery of an interaction concerning cluster galaxy plasma jets and intracluster magnetic fields,” suggests Takeuchi.

An worldwide team has just started development of what is prepared to be the world’s largest radio telescope, called the Sq. Kilometre Array (SKA).

“New facilities like the SKA are expected to reveal the roles and origins of cosmic magnetism and even to support us recognize how the universe advanced,” suggests Takeuchi. “Our review is a very good illustration of the ability of radio observation, 1 of the past frontiers in astronomy.”

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Resources provided by Nagoya University. Be aware: Content material may possibly be edited for model and size.

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