You are looking at a map of the magnetic field of the Milky Way

Utilizing telescopes that research the sky within the microwave a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, astronomers have succeeded in mapping the construction of the Milky Method’s magnetic area. Whereas magnetic fields in house are troublesome to measure, a world staff of astronomers used the Teide Observatory in Tenerife within the Canary Islands to conduct 10 years of observations.

Ted Observatory. Credit score: Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

The staff’s collaboration, known as QUIJOTE (QUI JOint Tenerife), used two 2.5-meter telescopes to look at the sky within the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Studying extra about our galaxy’s magnetic area can present details about star formation, cosmic rays, and plenty of different astrophysical processes.

The staff mentioned their work enhances knowledge collected by earlier house missions dedicated to learning cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), the fossil radiation left over from the Large Bang, which has given detailed perception into the early historical past of the universe.

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“These new maps present detailed description in a brand new frequency vary, from 10 to 40 GHz, complementing these from house missions similar to Planck and WMAP,” mentioned José Alberto Rubino, chief scientist on the QUIJOTE Collaboration, in a press launch. We now have characterised the synchrotron emission from our galaxy with unprecedented precision. This radiation is brought on by the emission of charged particles shifting at speeds near the pace of sunshine throughout the galaxy’s magnetic area. These maps, ensuing from almost 9,000 hours of commentary, are a novel software for learning magnetism within the universe.”

The magnetic area of the Milky Method as seen by the European Area Company’s Planck satellite tv for pc. Credit score: ESA and Planck Collaboration.

Work on this mapping challenge started in 2012, and the staff has now printed a collection of 6 science papers offering essentially the most correct description but of the Milky Method’s emission polarization at microwave wavelengths. The staff defined that polarization is “a property of transverse waves similar to gentle waves that determines the course of wave oscillations and is indicative of the presence of a magnetic area.”

With the brand new maps, not solely do astronomers have extra detailed details about the construction of the Milky Method’s magnetic area, however their findings additionally assist perceive the energetic processes that occurred close to the beginning of the universe.

Polarized microwave emission was measured by QUIJOTE. The overlapping line sample reveals the course of the magnetic area strains. Credit score: Quijote Collaboration.

“Scientific proof signifies that the universe went via a section of speedy growth, known as inflation, which is a fraction of a second after the Large Bang,” Rubino mentioned. “If that is true, we’d look forward to finding some observable outcomes once we research the polarization of the cosmic microwave background. These anticipated options are troublesome to measure, as a result of they’re small in breadth, but in addition as a result of they’re much much less vivid than the polarized emission from our galaxy. Nonetheless, if we By lastly measuring it, we’ll acquire oblique details about the bodily circumstances within the very early levels of our universe, when power scales have been a lot larger than these we will entry or research from Earth. This has monumental implications for our understanding of elementary physics.”

The brand new maps from QUIJOTE additionally supplied new knowledge for learning the not too long ago detected enhance in microwave emissions from the middle of our galaxy. The origin of this emission is at present unknown, however it might be associated to the decay processes of darkish matter particles.

As well as, knowledge from the QUIJOTE collaboration permit scientists to check greater than 700 sources of radio and microwave emissions, each of galactic and extragalactic origin, which means that the info helps scientists decipher indicators coming from outdoors our galaxy, together with the cosmic microwave background. radiation.

“One of the fascinating findings we now have discovered is that the polarized synchrotron emission from our galaxy is far more variable than beforehand thought,” mentioned Elena de la Hoz, a researcher on the Instituto Fesica de Cantabria (IFCA). “Our outcomes are a reference to assist future experiments make dependable detections of CMB signaling.

Listed below are hyperlinks to the six analysis papers printed within the Month-to-month Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society:

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