NASA Reveals 'Unexplained' Signal From Outside Our Galaxy

An artist's rendering shows the entire sky in gamma rays with magenta circles illustrating the uncertainty in the direction of the higher-than-average energy gamma rays.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

  • NASA scientists have discovered a powerful new gamma-ray signal coming from outside our galaxy.
  • While searching for answers about the creation of the universe, they found an alternative signal.
  • The discovery has created a new cosmic puzzle for astronomers.

NASA astronomers have discovered an unexpected „signal” from outside our galaxy that they can't explain.

The scientists analyzed 13 years of data Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope When they noticed the mysterious signal.

it's „„An unexpected and still unexplained feature outside our galaxy,” he wrote Francis Reddy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Powerful telescope Gamma rays can be detected, which are huge bursts of energetic light that are thousands to hundreds of billions of times larger than what our eyes can see. They are often created when stars explode or undergo nuclear explosions. Stumbled upon Alternative Signal while looking for something else entirely.

„This was a completely accidental discovery,” said Alexander Kashlinsky, a cosmologist at the University of Maryland and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Presents findings To the American Astronomical Society.

„We found a much stronger signal, and in a different part of the sky than we were looking for.”

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, illustrated here, scans the entire sky every three hours as it orbits Earth.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA/GESTAR)

They were looking for one of the oldest gamma-ray features to produce the first atoms, known as the cosmic microwave background, or CMB.

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The CMB has a bipolar structure, where one end is hotter and busier than the other. Astronomers generally think that the motion of our solar system creates structure.

Instead, the researchers found a signal coming from the same direction and another unexplained feature with almost the same size, containing some of the most energetic cosmic particles they've ever detected.

„We found a gamma-ray dipole, but its peak is located in the southern sky, far from the CMB, and its magnitude is 10 times larger than we would expect from our motion,” said Chris Schrader, an astrophysicist at Goddard.

This week, a paper detailing the findings was published Astrophysical Journal Letters.

They think the discovery could be linked to a cosmic gamma-ray feature observed by the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina in 2017.

Astronomers believe that both events have a similar structure and may originate from an unidentified source.

They hope to discover a mysterious source or develop alternative explanations for both features.

NASA's unexpected discovery could help astronomers confirm or challenge ideas about how the bipolar system is formed.

„The discrepancy in the size and direction of the CMP dipole may give us a glimpse into the physical processes operating in the early universe, which is less than a trillionth of a second old,” said Fernando Atrio-Barandela. Co-author of the research paper.

NASA did not immediately respond to BI's request for comment.

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