While it is true that astronomers have a general idea of all the types of objects we see in space, this does not mean that unusual things cannot be found. That’s what happened to a team of researchers in Australia, who came across a signal detected by the radio telescope in a shape never seen before: huge circles with a brighter exterior.
The team of astronomers from the University of Western Sydney in Australia has decided to call these elements ORC, short for ‘Odd Radio Circles’. In a new analysis published in arXiv and pending revision, they explain more details.
A total of four of these curiosities have been detected. All of them are circular in shape, although three of them have a much brighter edge resembling a bubble or ring. ORCs were first detected in the data collected for the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU). This map is being created with the help of the ASKAP radio telescope in Australia, which collects wavelengths from the depths of space.
At first astronomers thought that this was some kind of error in the telescope, but in the end it is analyzing data that supposedly comes from thousands of light years away. But they detected a total of three OCRs in a row, so it couldn’t be a simple coincidence. They also raised the idea that there was some interference in the data, as when a freelance obsessed for years with a microwave signal. This option was also discarded when they saw data collected by another telescope in 2013 that collected the fourth OCR found.
The team believes that whatever is causing the OCR is probably outside the Milky Way, like a giant spherical shock wave from some massive event.