Astronomers discovers large magnetic rope in a galaxy

The spiral galaxy saw edge-on, with its disk of stars shown in pink. The filaments, shown in green and blue, extend beyond the disk into the galaxy’s extended halo. now the astronomers discovers large magnetic rope in a galaxy’s.

Green indicates filaments with their magnetic field pointing roughly toward us and blue with the field pointing away. This phenomenon, with the field alternating in direction, has never before seen in the halo of a galaxy.

This is the first time that we have detected what astronomers call large-scale, coherent, magnetic fields far in the halo of a spiral galaxy, with the field lines aligned in the same direction over distances of a thousand light-years. We even see a regular pattern of this organized field changing direction.

We are a little bit like the blind men and the elephant, since each time we look at the galaxy in a different way we reach a different conclusion about its nature.

But, we seem to have one of those rare occasions where a classical theory, about magnetic generators called dynamos, predicted the observations of NGC 4631 quite well.

Thirty years ago, my work demonstrated the existence of reversals of the direction of the magnetic field in the disk of the Milky Way, said Rand.

The scientists are continuing their work to further refine their understanding of the galaxy’s full magnetic structure.

The image made by combining data from many observations with the VLA’s giant dish antennas arranged in different configurations to show both large structures and finer details within the galaxy.

The naturally-emitted radio waves from the galaxy analyzed to reveal the magnetic fields, including their directions.

The scientists said the techniques used to determine the direction of the magnetic field lines, illustrated by this image, now can be used on this and other galaxies to answer important questions about whether coherent magnetic fields are common in galactic halos and what their shapes are.

Building such a picture, they said, can answer important questions such as how galaxies get magnetic fields, and whether all such fields produced by a dynamo effect.

NGC 4631, 25 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici, is about 80,000 light-years across, smaller than our own Milky Way.

It discovered by the famous British astronomer Sir William Herschel in 1787. This image also shows a companion, NGC 4627, a small elliptical galaxy, above NGC 4631.


The research was published in The university of new mexico

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