Western Sydney University researchers have discovered a mysterious circular ring near our neighboring galaxy. It could be the first known case of an intergalactic supernova remnant. This is the remains of an exploded star that could be up to 7,000 years old.
It is most likely located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), dubbed a “rogue” supernova remnant by the researchers and named J0624–6948. Its position suggests a previously unobserved origin.
The discovery was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Scientists said the discovery was exciting and raised many unanswered questions.
The ring discovered has significant differences to the five other known ORCs. It is a flatter radio spectral index. There is a lack of a prominent central galaxy as a possible host. Its larger apparent size suggest it may be a different type of object. J0624–6948 was first detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) managed by CSIRO. It is one of the several new generation radio telescopes that are revealing new features of the universe.
These new radio telescopes can pick up a range of spherical objects. Because of the combined effects of high-sensitivity, good spatial sampling and wide area coverage, they are enriching our understanding of the universe.