Researchers discover intergalactic bridge that stretches across two galaxies

Milky Way collision
NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA

A team of international scientists at the National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf) in Cagliari, Italy has discovered an intergalactic bridge that stretches across two galaxies in the universe. In a recently issued statement, scientists who made this discovery revealed that this gigantic cosmic entity is stretching between these galaxy clusters 10 million light-years apart.

This intergalactic bridge is actually a mysterious trail of magnetic fields and electrons, and it connecting two galaxies named Abell 0399 and Abell 0401. Researchers who took part in the study believe that this new finding will help to learn more about that unknown cosmic web of filamentary structures which connect distant objects in the universe.

During the study, researchers made use of Low-Frequency Array (LoFar) radio telescope to discover this intergalactic bridge. This radio telescope network is equipped with more than 25,000 antennas than spans over 51 stations in Europe. Using these radio telescopes, scientists have now detected a magnetic field between the two galaxy clusters, which indicate that a mysterious intergalactic bridge is present between the two.

"We typically observe this emission mechanism in action in individual galaxies and even in galaxy clusters, but never before has a radio emission been observed connecting two of these systems. Understanding the nature of this radio source is a real challenge, since the electrons, during their radiative lifetime, manage to cover a much smaller space than the entire source. There must, therefore, exist some mechanism responsible for their acceleration that operates along the entire filament," said Dr Matteo Murgia, a researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics, reports.

The research team is now planning to do additional observations in the region which will gradually help them to confirm the discovery.

A few weeks back, scientists had confirmed that a mysterious force inflicted bullet-like holes in some parts of Milky Way. The mindblowing discovery was made by Ana Bonaca, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian University. After making this discovery, Ana Bonaca suggested that invisible dark matter might have caused these bullet-like holes in the galaxy.

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