Monday, April 3, 2023

The Galactic Center Radio Arc: Unraveling the Mystery of the Curved Structure

11:25 PM | , ,

The enigmatic curved structure near the center of our galaxy has puzzled astronomers for years. This intriguing formation, captured in radio images, is known as the Galactic Center Radio Arc, which consists of long parallel rays extending outward from the Galactic plane.

The Radio Arc is linked to the Galactic Center through peculiar curve-shaped filaments called the Arches[1]. In the lower right corner of the radio image, a bright radio structure surrounds the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center, known as Sagittarius A*.

One hypothesis for the Radio Arc and Arches' unique geometry suggests that they are composed of hot plasma flowing along constant magnetic field lines. Supporting this idea, images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory reveal the plasma's apparent collision with a nearby cold gas cloud.

Image Credit: Ian Heywood (Oxford U.), SARAO

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