mysterious circles in space
Norris et al., arXiv, 2020

The universe in which the solar system is located is huge and modern space science, using advanced telescopes, has succeeded in monitoring only a minute portion of the cosmos. Now, a team of astronomers has discovered mysterious circular objects in space, and they don't know what they are.

What are these Circular Objects?

The new discovery was made by an international team of researchers led by Ray Norris, an astrophysicist at the Western Sydney University in Australia. The research team has named these mysterious circles, Odd Radio Circles, and they have submitted their study report detailing the findings to journal Nature Astronomy where it awaits review.

Researchers, in their study report, revealed that the circular objects spotted using radio telescopes could be most probably supernova remnant or planetary nebula.

"Circular features are well-known in radio astronomical images, and usually represent a spherical object such as a supernova remnant, a planetary nebula, a circumstellar shell, or a face-on disc such as a protoplanetary disc or a star-forming galaxy. They may also arise from imaging artifacts around bright sources caused by calibration errors or inadequate deconvolution," wrote the researchers in their study report.

Initial Glitch Turned out to be Mindblowing Discovery

Researchers found these mysterious circles during the late 2019 Pilot Survey of the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU). Initially, when they discovered the first circle, they thought that it might be a glitch. Later, when the research team spotted three more circles, they came to the conclusion that the circles are not mere glitches, and something might be lurking in the space.

Researchers, in their study report, noted that these mysterious circles are located at very high galactic latitudes, and they are around 1 arcminute in diameter. It should be noted that 1 arcminute is equal to three percent of the size of the moon in the night sky.

How Odd Radio Circles are Formed?

In their study report, researchers also suggested that the formation of these Odd Radio Circles could be the result of a giant spherical shockwave that might have originated outside the Milky Way due to some unknown massive event.

"Several such classes of transient events, capable of producing a spherical shock wave, have recently been discovered, such as fast radio bursts, gamma-ray bursts, and neutron star mergers. However, because of the large angular size of the ORCs, any such transients would have taken place in the distant past," added the researchers.