Astronomers created a map of the polarization of microwave radiation in the Milky Way caused by magnetic fields. This will allow us to study the relic microwave background and point sources of radiation more accurately.
New Galaxy Map
An international team of scientists used the QUIJOTE collaboration to map the polarization of the microwave background of our galaxy. This set of instruments includes two telescopes, each with a diameter of 2.5 meters, which are located on the Canary Islands and operate in the appropriate range.
Polarization is the process of equalizing electromagnetic oscillations in a certain plane. It usually talks about a certain configuration of magnetic fields. In the case of the microwave background of the Galaxy, it is produced by all the stars and all the magnetic fields of our star system.
The process of assembling this map began back in 2012 and contained a number of earlier studies, including mapping the cosmic microwave background. And finally, scientists have published the final results.
Why are these studies important?
The main result of mapping the Galaxy is the ability to take into account all the “normal” factors affecting it when studying it in the microwave range. Thanks to this, it is possible to investigate, for example, abnormal microwave radiation detected about 25 years ago.
It is believed that it occurs when small dust particles in the interstellar medium are oriented in a certain way in magnetic fields. Now, by studying it, you can learn much more about the structure of the latter.
Also, by filtering out the microwave radiation of our Galaxy, you can learn more about the relic cosmic background. And it, in turn, testified to the high-energy processes that took place at the early days of the Universe.
Also, the conducted research allowed us to study the recently discovered excess of microwave radiation from the center of the Milky Way. The team confirmed its existence and the suggestion that it may be polarized.
Variable microwave radiation
In general, the picture of microwave radiation, created on the basis of almost 9,000 hours of observations, turned out to be quite difficult to understand. In addition to all of the above, about 700 point sources have been mapped, which are located both in our Galaxy and beyond. Each of them generates microwave radiation with unique features.
The most important conclusion of the study was the conclusion that the polarized radiation of our Galaxy is extremely variable. It was repeatedly influenced by events that took place in the distant past. And even now there are many factors that can change the map of the Milky Way in this region of the spectrum.
According to phys.org
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