A team of astronomers detected the magnetic field of a galaxy situated around 5 billion light years away from our planet. Besides making it the record holder of the most distant galaxy to reveal magnetic field information, this galaxy may also help reveal new information about our magnetic universe.
New Data Supports the Idea of a Magnetic Universe
This distant galaxy’s magnetic field was detected by astronomers part of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy led by Sui Ann Mao. These conducted their research with help from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, a radio telescope network found in New Mexico.
This helped detect and also characterize the magnetic field of this distant galaxy. One of its discoveries is that this system’s magnetic field is similar in configuration to that of the Milky Way. It is also similar in strength. This was a surprise seeing as the galaxy is believed to be some 5 billion years younger than our own.
“This means that magnetism is generated very early in a galaxy’s life by natural processes, and thus that almost every heavenly body is magnetic,” stated Bryan Gaensler, a study co-author and professor at the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics.
He then continued by pointing out that “The implication is that we need to understand magnetism to understand the universe.”
The study team members also pointed out a method of studying the magnetic universe and its cosmic evolution. Scientists can do so by measuring the magnetic fields of differently distanced galaxies when compared to Earth. Being of various ages will also help the process of better understanding this evolution.
Some theories suggested that new galaxies start off with weak and tangled magnetic fields. However, this might not be so, as suggested by this recent research.
Current study findings were released earlier this week in a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy.
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