No One Knows What to Make of This Mysterious Space Jellyfish

No One Knows What to Make of This Mysterious Space Jellyfish

4/12/2021 3:19:00 AM

No One Knows What to Make of This Mysterious Space Jellyfish

No one knows what to make of the mysterious USS Jellyfish. Astronomers have never really seen anything like it before.

that form at the center of many galaxies:“While the ‘USS Jellyfish’ defies easy classification, we here propose that the phenomenon is caused by the reacceleration and compression of multiple aged electron populations from historic active galactic nucleus (AGN).”

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Hence the name phoenix, implying a rebirth or rebound from the brink.In this case, the scientists say, there are no active galactic nuclei anywhere nearby, but the space jellyfish is likely the remnant of one—the scientists believe the jellyfish to be 2 billion years old. It seems that a cloud, like a puff of smoke remaining after a fire, became reactivated by a gentle mixing in of galactic particles that lit the area back up into the huge tentacled shape we see today.

Many objects in space throw off radio waves, and scientists working at huge telescopes like Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) try to identify where different wave signatures are coming from. That’s where Hodgson first spotted what he thought was a data error in 2017.

VICEreports the gigantic phenomenon lives in a very specific, very low frequency of radio bandwidth that rendered it almost invisible unless scientists knew where to look. This is where the name “ultra steep spectrum” comes from, because the visibility falls off so dramatically after those very low bandwidths.

The space jellyfish is much, much “steeper,” the scientists say, than anything else they’ve ever found. “To be so steep, the source either has to be exceptionally old, except then it should have faded from simply expanding into space; or triggered by a shock that is exceptionally weak, except then it shouldn’t be so bright!” Hodgson told

VICE.The scientists say they believed they’d find more objects that are similar to the USSJellyfishafter figuring out what kind of radio signature to look for, but the more they look, the more rare the space jellyfish turns out to be.How can this astonishing object also be so singular in the observed universe so far? That’s still a very big mystery.

Read more: Prevention Magazine »

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