A radio-wave look at the Milky Way’s central regions reveals huge filaments indicating magnetic fields, spherical bubbles marking supernova remnants and regions of massive star formation (shown in blue). The supermassive black hole at the core of the Milky way is hidden behind bright foreground stars. Image: Natasha Hurley-Walker (ICRAR/Curtin) and the GLEAM Team
Astronomers using the Murchison Widefield Array in the Western Australian outback have captured a dramatic view of the Milky Way showing how the central regions of the galaxy would appear to eyes sensitive to low-frequency radio waves.
The image, based on data collected for the GaLatic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, or GLEAM, allowed astronomers to find at least 27 previously unknown remnants of massive stars that exploded in supernova blasts. The survey has a resolution similar to that of the human eye using radio wavelengths between 72 and 231 MHz.
One supernova remnant found in the radio image would have been visible from Earth. This image shows its location as viewed from Western Australia. Image: Paean Ng/Astrordinary Imaging
One of the newly discovered remnants was found in a relatively empty region, well out of the plane of the galaxy.
“It’s the remains of a star ...