X-ray satellite XMM-Newton photographs “space clover”

Scientists have investigated an amazing object that looks very similar to a clover leaf. In fact, it is a huge structure that unites a whole group of interacting galaxies. At the same time, it is visible only at some wavelengths. Therefore, the XMM-Newton X-ray space telescope helped to investigate it.

“Space clover”. Source: phys.org

“Space clover”

German scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, using several astronomical instruments operating in the X-ray range, including the XMM-Newton space telescope, were able to obtain an image and explore an amazing object resembling a clover leaf.

It is formed by four structures known in astronomy as “odd radio circles“. Scientists didn’t know anything about their existence until the Australian ASKAP array of radio antennas discovered them in 2019. For the first time, a new high-precision technique for obtaining radar images was used with it.

The most amazing thing about the “odd radio circles” is that these giant structures are not noticeable at all in visible light and many other ranges. Meanwhile, they stretch for millions of light-years and scientists find entire galaxies inside.

Investigation of the “clover” radio circle

Actually, the main theory of the formation of “odd radio circles” is that their source is the collision of several galaxies. And the research of the “space clover” confirmed this assumption. Inside there are at least a dozen separate star systems that actively interact with each other.

The researchers decided to check whether the “odd radio circles” were visible in the X-ray range. The preliminary experiment was carried out using the eROSITA space telescope. It actually detected the radiation coming from the clover. Therefore, the researchers assembled a large team and applied several powerful instruments.

They found out that the “cosmic clover” was really formed by the collision of galaxies. This process heats the interstellar gas to incredible temperatures of 8-9 million degrees and it flies in all directions in the form of shock waves. These same processes cause radiation in many parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

According to phys.org

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