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GMRT and Chandra X-Ray telescope help capture dying phase of an active galaxy

Till date, very few remnant radio galaxies have been known. This detection, confirmed by TIFR-National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), was made possible mainly using uGMRT, whose observations were combined with those of Chandra X-Ray Telescope.

Using Pune-based GMRT, scientists measure mass of atomic hydrogen present in galaxies 9 billion years agoGMRT is located about 80kms from Pune city. (Express photo)

The observations obtained from Pune-based upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT) have helped in detecting remnants of an active galaxy in its dying phase, which are usually short-lived and rare occurring celestial events.

Till date, very few remnant radio galaxies have been known. This detection, confirmed by TIFR-National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), was made possible mainly using uGMRT, whose observations were combined with those of Chandra X-Ray Telescope.

In the latest discovery, which was recently published in the Astrophysical Journal, the radio galaxy was found to be along the peripheral region of a cluster of galaxies named Abella2065.

A galaxy is composed of a cluster of stars, gas and dust and has a dense core acting as its nucleus. In some galaxies, this core emits huge amounts of energy and can be identified easily because of the bright and shining core, and these are called active galaxies. In addition, they emit signals in radio wavelengths.

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With a capability for remaining active for tens of millions of years, an active galaxy upon growing old begins to slowly enter its dying and decaying phase. The present discovery of one such dying radio galaxy is hence pertinent as there are not many active galaxies remaining on this date (only about 10 per cent of all galaxies remain active).

“The remnant phase of a radio galaxy is short and only a few are known, showcasing the capability of GMRT,” said Dharam Vir Lal, scientist at TIFR – NCRA, who led this discovery.

This is also why scientists are more keen to trace more such radio galaxies as they hold great potential and possibly some answers about their evolution, dynamics, behaviour, the cycle of active galaxies and more. By increasing detection of rare galaxies in future, scientists hope to further understand a number of mechanisms that drive remnant galaxies, the researchers said.

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First published on: 29-07-2021 at 09:03:52 pm
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