There is the possibility that researchers could have stumbled upon a brand new type of cosmic object. These so-called strange objects can only be seen via radio wavelengths. The research has been performed by an international team, which has just posted its findings. The findings themselves have not been peer-reviewed yet, but the paper has been submitted to Nature Astronomy, the academic journal.
What Do Scientists Know about the Objects?
Astronomers first noticed these objects, which they call “Odd Radio Circles”, also abbreviated as ORCs, in enormous databases that were gathered during a preliminary survey performed by the Evolutionary Map of the Universe project, belonging to the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. This information was made public by Live Science. These aptly named Odd Radio Circles can only be seen with the aid of radio telescopes and are, for the most part, circular. What is even more peculiar is that three of the Odd Radio Circles are brighter around the edges than they are at their center.
What Is Unusual Regarding ORCs?
These objects are entirely invisible to X-ray, infrared, and even to the classic optical telescopes. Scientists are perplexed by the fact that the odd radio circles are not alike in any way to any type of object that is currently known. This is what the scientists wrote in their paper, which has also been made available on arXiv, the preprint website of the authors.
The scientists also collectivized their efforts to see if they are able to notice anything even remotely similar to the odd radio circles. At that point, they have noticed the fourth circle. The fourth circle was hidden in some data that was collected back in 2013 in India, with the help of the Giant MetreWave Radio Telescope. These Odd Radio Circles have been noticed in the database coming in from many of the other radio telescopes in the world. This excludes the possibility that the objects are the result of a telescopic glitch.