Crucial detections made by Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), Pune, has given a major breakthrough to a team of international astronomers who confirmed the detection of a massive explosion that occurred at the centre of Ophiuchus Galaxy, located approximately 390 million light years away from Earth.
This explosion inside the massive black hole, experts say, is the second-largest one after the Big Bang. The original observations mentioned in the recently-published study were taken using NASA’s Chandra X-Ray telescope. However, researchers confirmed the huge explosion after studying the combined data gathered using GMRT, Murchison Widefiled Array (MWA) and XMM-Newton X-Ray telescope.
“Using GMRT data, the researchers got an improved radio image of the radio source. It complemented well with the frequency coverage of the Australian MWA telescope, while providing higher resolution for a more detailed look at the cluster,” read an official statement by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA).
Operated by NCRA, GMRT’s low radio frequency data was recorded within the radio frequency range 153 Mhz and 240 Mhz in 2008. This archived data was then analysed by international researchers as part of the study. The Ophiuchus cluster of galaxies is both hot and massive, besides being the second-brightest X-ray cluster in the sky. Even though several astronomers had previously attempted studies of the Ophiucus cluster, its relatively cooler core surrounded by a concave gas dense area caught the team’s attention.
The cavity, researchers say, was created as a result of massive energy that was released at the time of the explosion, leaving behind a dent-like structure.
On its rich astronomical data collection, NCRA Director Yashwant Gupta said, “It is like mining the archived data and re-using them. Even in the future, we can use such archived data for some bright ideas or newer discoveries. We expect more discoveries and interesting results to emerge using GMRT’s archived data.”
The research mention that the size of the cavity was huge, making it a unique one, as only an explosion at least five times larger than what is presently recorded could have created such a large cavity.
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