Scientists are getting closer to figuring out the origins of an unidentified object in space after higher resolution images were taken of the bizarre phenomenon.
At present, the phenomena are referred to as “odd radio circles” or ORCs, according to CNN. First discovered in 2020 using the Australia SKA Pathfinder telescope, the space rings have baffled scientists due to their extreme size and peculiar behavior, the outlet continued. (RELATED: Pentagon Investigator Claims Military Service Members Experienced Paranormal Activity After Visiting Haunted Ranch)
The ORCs are roughly a million light-years in diameter, about 16 times bigger than our Milky Way galaxy, and are so large that they have expanded past other galaxies, CNN reported. The first major findings regarding the ORC were published Monday in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society after the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s MeerKAT telescope captured detailed images and data of the ORCs.
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Three major theories were derived from the data, including the leftovers of a massive explosion in the center of a galaxy; powerful jets pushing energetic particles from the center of a galaxy; or the shockwave from the birth of a galaxy of stars, CNN reported. “We know ORCs are rings of faint radio emissions surrounding a galaxy with a highly active black hole at its centre, but we don’t yet know what causes them, or why they are so rare,” said Western Sydney University professor and the study’s coauthor Ray Norris in a statement, reported CNN.
Only five ORCs have been identified thus far, and are only visible on telescopes that use radio wavelengths. They have not yet been seen by visible light, infrared, or X-ray telescopes, despite their size, CNN noted. At least three of the ORCs are circled around galaxies with supermassive blackholes, Live Science noted.