Image of the Day: Galaxy M82 -Home of a Mystery Signal Unlike Anything in the Known Universe


M82, a starburst galaxy was previously believed to be an irregular galaxy. However, in 2005, two symmetric spiral arms were discovered in the near-infrared (NIR) images of M82. The arms were detected by subtracting an axisymmetric exponential disk from the NIR images.

In April 2010, radio astronomers working at the Jodrell Bank Observatory of the University of Manchester reported an unknown object in M82. The object has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before. There have been several theories about the nature of this unknown object, but currently no theory entirely fits the observed data. It has been suggested that the object could be a "micro quasar", having very high luminosity, and being fairly stable. However, microquasars also produce large quantities of X-rays, whereas no X-rays have been seen from the mystery object.The object is located at several arcseconds from the center of M82.

The Daily Galaxy via Chandra X Ray Space Telescope


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