Scientists have succeeded in mapping the magnetic field of our galaxy

Using telescopes that monitor the sky in the microwave range, an international team of scientists has succeeded in mapping the magnetic field of our galaxy, Milky Way.

The scientists used the QUIJOTE collaboration (QUI JOint Tenerife) at the Teide Observatory in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. This consists of two telescopes 2.5 meters in diameter, observing the sky in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

This mapping initially began in 2012. Now, nearly a decade later, scientists have provided a hitherto accurate description of the Milky Way’s emission polarization at microwave wavelengths.

The research adds to previous space missions that have been examined Cosmic microwave background (CMB) Fossil radiation from the great explosion that provided a comprehensive understanding of the early history of the universe.

QUIJOTE data have been useful in other conditions in addition to mapping The magnetic structure of the Milky Way. The new data offers a new way to investigate anomalous microwave emissions (AME), a class of emissions initially identified 25 years ago. Extremely small dust particles in the interstellar medium, which are guided by the presence of the galactic magnetic field, are expected to orbit and form an AME.

The new findings helped scientists understand the energetic processes that occurred near the origin of the universe and provided information about the structure of the Milky Way’s magnetic field. The emission veil associated with our galaxy must first be removed so that scientists can measure signals from that period. New maps provided by QUIJOTE do just that, allowing us to better understand these elusive signals from the broader scale. being.

It also allowed the study of a recently discovered excess of microwave emissions from the center of our galaxy. provides some evidence that this emission could be polarized by confirming its existence.

Last but not least, the new maps from QUIJOTE have allowed a systematic study of more than 700 sources of emissions in radio and microwave waves, both in the galaxy and extragalactic. This means the data is helping scientists decipher signals from outside our galaxy, including the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Jose Alberto Rubino, Principal Scientist at the QUIJOTE Collaboration said, These new maps provide detailed descriptions in a new frequency range, from 10 to 40 GHz, complementing those from space missions such as Planck and WMAP. We have characterized the synchrotron emission from our galaxy with unprecedented precision. This radiation is caused by the emission of charged particles moving at speeds close to the speed of light within the galaxy’s magnetic field. These maps, the result of nearly 9,000 hours of observation, are a unique tool for study magnetism in the universe.”

Elena de la Hoz, a researcher at the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA), said, “One of the most interesting findings we found is that the polarized synchrotron emission from our galaxy is much more variable than previously thought. Our results are a reference to help future experiments make reliable detections of the CMB signal.”

Scientific evidence indicates that the universe went through a phase of rapid expansion, called inflation, a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. If this is true, we would expect to find some observable results when we study the cosmic microwave background polarization. These predicted features are difficult to measure because they are small in amplitude and less luminous than the polarized emission from our galaxy. However, if we finally measure it, we will obtain indirect information about the physical conditions in the very early stages of our universe, when energy scales were much higher than those we can access or study from Earth. This has huge implications for our understanding of fundamental physics.”

Federica Guidi, researcher at the Astrophysical Institute of Paris (IAP, France), He saidAnd “The maps from QUIJOTE also allowed the study of microwave emission from the center of our galaxy. Recently, an excess of microwave emission was detected from this region, the origin of which is unknown but whose origin could be related to the decay processes of dark matter particles. With QUIJOTE, we have confirmed the existence of this excess of radiation and we found some evidence that it could be polarizing.”

Journal references:

  1. JA Rubiño-Martín, F Guidi, RT Genova-Santos, et al. QUIJOTE’S SCIENTIFIC RESULTS – IV. A survey of the northern sky in intensity and polarization at 10-20 GHz using a multifrequency instrument. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical SocietyVolume 519, Issue 3, March 2023, pages 3383–3431, DOI: 10.1093 / Minras / Stack 3439
  2. Microwave intensity and polarization spectra for galaxy regions W49, W51, and IC443 Tramonte et al. Published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1093 / Minras / Stack 3657
  3. “The Fog as Quijote Sees it,” Geddy et al., published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1093 / minras / stac3502
  4. “Galactic AME Sources in the QUIJOTE-MFI Wide Survey of the Northern Hemisphere,” Poidevin et al., published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1093 / Minras / Stack 3468
  5. De la Hoz et al. published “Diffuse Polarized Introductions from Component Separation with QUIJOTE-MFI,” in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: DOI: 10.1093 / Minras / Stack 3151
  6. “Radio Sources in the QUIJOTE-MFI Wide Survey Maps,” Herranz et al. , published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1093/minras/stack 3020

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