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At Astronomy Now: MeerKAT paints a mesmerising portrait of the Milky Way

MeerKAT’s radio view of the central regions of the Milky Way, highlighted by glowing red emissions surrounding the galaxy’s central black hole. Image: I. Heywood, SARAO.

New radio-wavelength images of the Milky Way’s galactic core show its exotic beauty and peril. In terms of the galactic habitable zone, life-friendly conditions certainly don’t exist near the core.

Ever wonder what you might see if your eyes were sensitive to radio waves instead of visible light? Then check out the latest images from the 64-antenna MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa, revealing the heart of the Milky Way as as it appears in radio emissions.

The stunning imagery shows previously known and newly-discovered features, including supernova remnants, huge magnetised radio filaments and the blazing inferno surrounding the 4-million-solar-mass black hole at the core of the galaxy.

The imagery is based on detailed analysis of a survey carried out during the telescope’s commissioning, resulting in a mosaic of 20 observations captured during 200 hours of telescope time. The result is a 100-megapixel mosaic with a resolution of 4 arc seconds.

Sagittarius A*, the 4-million-solar-mass black hole at the core of the Milky Way shows up as a blaze of surrounding radio emissions, along with huge magnetised radio filaments in cirrus-like arcs. Image: I. Heywood, SARAO.

The images reveal never-before-seen supernova remnants, including a rare, almost perfectly spherical example, along with numerous stellar nurseries, cirrus-like emissions made up of many parallel radio filaments and a mesmerising view of “the mouse,” a runaway pulsar possibly ejected in a supernova blast.

At the heart of the mosaic is the supermassive black hole at the core of the Milky Way, shining like a giant red eye embedded in a vast cloud of less powerful emissions.

Astronomy Now
What's interesting about the unusual shapes of the filaments is how unexpected that they are. Imagining a perfectly symmetrical beginning of the universe, we can understand a chaotic granularity, but not so much the massive structures. in such an environment, one might think it originated either as . . . a. Homogeneous and geometrically symmetrical (i.e. a point), but had enough time to "clump" at a far more massive scale than we imagine. A visual analogy might be looking at a sandy beach, but then focusing on the asymmetry of several adjacent grains of sand. b. Highly structured, geometrically asymmetrical, and didn't have enough time to homogenize. The visual analogy might be the "clumped" aftermath of a direct hit on a Ukrainian school by a Russian heavy artillery shell. It seems like the evidence slightly favors b. -Q Querius
Querius: More trolling. Why not express your condolences on a news or political website?
I have. Are you suggesting that UD is not the place to discuss school shootings? Maybe you shout take it up with the author of the following OP https://uncommondescent.com/off-topic/defend-the-children/ JHolo
More trolling. Why not express your condolences on a news or political website? The actions of a severely disturbed individual might also be relevant on a psychiatry forum. Perhaps on a political forum, you can also express sympathy for the tragedy of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the thousands of civilians displaced, relocated and executed with guns there, not to mention the 50,000+ military deaths.. So, what I don't understand is how "filaments" of radio waves can be generated in the first place considering one would expect them to show some radial symmetry. -Q Querius
There is a saying that your right to swing your fist wherever you choose ends at the tip of my nose. I believe people should be free to use firearms for sport or recreation providing the exercise of that right does not endanger others. If these shootings are, in part, due to a failure to regulate firearms ownership in this country in the interests of all citizens then society has both a right and a duty to step in and impose whatever regulation is necessary to protect lives. I join with JH in offering my condolences to those affected by this tragedy. Seversky
Wow, this is huge! Obviously, there are many structures about which we have no idea of how they were formed or the forces involved! Troll warning @1. -Q Querius
Totally off topic, but I want to express my condolences to the families and friends of the children and teacher killed today in the Texas school. The fact that no other developed nation tolerates the number of mass shootings that the US does is, frankly, reprehensible. JHolo

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