Two giant radio galaxies discovered with a powerful telescope

While ordinary radio galaxies are fairly common objects in the universe, only

several hundred of them can be called"Giant radio galaxies". Despite the fact that they are rare, the authors of a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society found two such objects in a small area of ​​the sky.

Jacinta Delhuis, Research Fellow at the UniversityCape Town and the lead author of the paper, stated: “We found these giant radio galaxies in an area of ​​the sky that is only about 4 times the area of ​​the full moon. Our knowledge of the density of giant radio galaxies in the sky suggests that the probability of detecting two of them in such a small region of the sky is less than 0.0003 percent.

"This means that giant radio galaxies are probably much more common than we thought!" - the woman scientist concludes.

Dr. Matthew Prescott, Research FellowUniversity of the Western Cape and co-author of the paper, explains: “These two galaxies are special. The fact is that they are among the largest known giants and are in 10% of all giant radio galaxies. Their diameter is more than 2 megaparsecs - about 6.5 million light years, or about 62 times the size of the Milky Way. However, they are dimmer than other galaxies of the same size. We suspect that there must be many more such galaxies. The point is that they grow and change during their existence. "

Why are there so few radio galaxies thathuge size remains a mystery. It is believed that such giants are the oldest radio galaxies that have existed long enough (several hundred million years) for their radio jets to grow to enormous sizes. If this is true, then there must be many more giant radio galaxies than are known today.

Giant radio galaxies have been spotted on newradio maps of the sky, created as part of the MeerKAT International Gigahertz Tiered Extragalactic Exploration (MIGHTEE) study. Filming is being conducted with the Meerkat radio telescope in South Africa.

Two giant radio galaxies discoveredthe MeerKAT telescope. In the background, the sky in optical light. Red is the radio emission from huge radio galaxies as seen by MeerKAT. Left: MGTC J095959.63 + 024608.6. Right: MGTC J100016.84 + 015133.0. Credit: I. Haywood (Oxford / Rhodes / SARAO) License Type (CC BY 4.0)

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Radiojet is a material erupting from the centers of some galaxies. It is close to the speed of light and emits strong radio waves.