Traces of the magnetic field of galactic dimensions

Two years ago, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (USA) announced the discovery of two giant twin lobes formed by gamma radiation, to retire on 50 thousand light-years above and below the plane of the Milky Way. It seemed that these bubbles came from the field of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A * at the galactic core.

There is even a theory that the "gamma-petals" are generated by emission from the vicinity of SMCHD Sagittarius A *. The alternative hypothesis, put forward at the same time, it is assumed that the reason for their occurrence, by contrast, has starbursts in this area.

Traces of unusual structures in the radio, and three crest formation in them. (Here and below illustrate Cfa.)

And it now appears that these giant bubbles can be observed not only in gamma-, and in the radio. A team of astronomers led by Gianni Bernardi (Gianni Bernardi) of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics described the discovery of its "petals" of mammoth proportions, visible in the radio and also emanating from the galactic center. The radiation is polarized, surprisingly. Recall that although the phenomenon of polarization of visible light is very common (this effect is even used in sunglasses), the radio emission is usually polarized in the presence of strong magnetic fields. But given the huge scope of "petals" of the spatial scale of the magnetic field must also be considerable, if the phenomenon of magnetic nature, perhaps the most massive known to man.

"Petals" in the radio and gamma-ray band are almost identical to the common dimensions, but, in contrast to the "gamma-petal", "radiolepestki" contain three crest structure, clearly associated with the magnetic field. Which stretch up and down relative to the plane of the galaxy as the tens of thousands of light years.

It is interesting that these "petals" are required, according to astronomers for its formation energy equal to the current level of solar radiation multiplied by a time equal to the life of the universe (13.7 billion years). That is more than the sun can actually generate in a lifetime.

Group Mr. Bernardi believes that traces of this enormous magnetic field — this product is not SMCHD but active star formation in the region of 650 light-years in diameter, located in the nucleus of our Galaxy. A crest structures correspond to a plurality of spaced episodes of star formation in time for a period of at least the last ten million years.

Because of the unusual nature of the phenomenon it is safe to expect that many of the astronomers who did not participate in the study, did not agree with this interpretation of the causes of the enormous magnetisation.

The report on the study published in the journal Nature, and with his preprint is available here.

Prepared according to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Category: Space

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