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For the first time astronomers discover powerful 'cosmic double whammy'

In A Very Rare Incident, Astronomers Are Using Data From India’s Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) Who Have Discovered Two Of The Most Powerful Phenomena In The Universe - A Supermassive Black Hole And The Collision Of Giant Galaxy Clusters About Two Billion Light Years From Earth.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Apoorva Nawaz | Updated on: 06 Jan 2017, 02:10:06 PM
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In a very rare incident, astronomers are using data from India’s Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) who have discovered two of the most powerful phenomena in the universe - a supermassive black hole and the collision of giant galaxy clusters about two billion light years from Earth.

As the two giant galaxy cluster will collide it will give rise to the splendid cosmic particle accelerator, researchers said.

The study appears in the journal Nature Astronomy

By combining data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Pune and other telescopes, researchers found what happens when matter ejected by a giant black hole is swept up in the merger of two enormous galaxy clusters.

Astronomers will for the first time see them clearly linked together in the same system.

“We have seen each of these spectacular phenomena separately in many places,” said Reinout van Weeren of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA) in the US, who led the study.

The double cosmic whammy is found in a pair of colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412 located about two billion light years from Earth.

The two clusters are both very massive, each weighing about a quadrillion - or a million billion - times the mass of the Sun.

The comet-shaped appearance of the X-rays detected by Chandra is produced by hot gas from one cluster ploughing through the hot gas of the other cluster.

Optical data from the Keck Observatory and Japan’s Subaru telescope, both on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, detected the galaxies in each cluster.

First, at least one spinning, supermassive black hole in one of the galaxy clusters produced a rotating, tightly-wound magnetic funnel.

This discovery solves a long-standing mystery in galaxy cluster research about the origin of beautiful swirls of radio emission stretching for millions of light years, detected in Abell 3411 and Abell 3412 with the GMRT.

The team determined that as the shock waves travel across the cluster for hundreds of millions of years, the doubly accelerated particles produce giant swirls of radio emission.

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First Published : 06 Jan 2017, 02:04:00 PM