Fermi accidentally detects a mysterious signal from outside the Milky Way

NASA astronomers have discovered a mysterious signal that came to us from outside our galaxy. This caused considerable surprise among the researchers. Scientists stumbled upon the mysterious signal during the analysis of data from the Fermi space gamma-ray telescope, which has been collecting it for 13 years.

Artist’s impressions of the received signal from outside the Milky Way. Illustration: Astrophysical Journal Letters

“It was an unexpected and as yet unexplained feature outside of our galaxy,” said Francis Reddy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The gamma-ray telescope detects huge bursts of energetic light — thousands of times more powerful than the human eye can see. Such bursts usually occur when stars explode, but this time astronomers have recorded a completely unexpected signal that scientists have not encountered before.

“It is a completely serendipitous discovery,” said cosmologist Alexander Kashlinsky from the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Scientists first searched for the cosmic microwave background (CMB), which is one of the oldest gamma-ray characteristics of the formation of the first atoms. It is generally believed that the motion of our Solar System creates the dipole structure of the CMB. However, the researchers came across a signal from a similar direction that had almost the same magnitude as another mysterious object containing some of the most energetic cosmic particles.

“We found a gamma-ray dipole, but its peak is located in the southern sky, far from the CMB’s, and its magnitude is 10 times greater than what we would expect from our motion,” explained astrophysicist Chris Shrader.

According to the results of the study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, astronomers believe that the discovery may be related to cosmic gamma radiation, which was observed by the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina in 2017. They believe that both phenomena may have a common source, given their similar structure.

Scientists hope to identify the mysterious source of the signal or provide alternative explanations for these events. NASA’s unexpected discovery may help confirm or reject ideas about the formation of a dipole structure.

Earlier, we reported on how an encrypted signal came from Mars.

According to sciencealert.com

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