Strange Radio Signal From Galactic Center Has Astronomers Flummoxed
Over the course of 2020, astronomers in Australia detected a mysterious batch of radio waves coming from somewhere near the center of the galaxy. But when the team trained a more sensitive instrument toward the source, they saw it only once more before it disappeared, behaving differently than it had before. The signal is described in a paper published today in the Astrophysical Journal.
“The strangest property of this new signal is that it has a very high polarisation. This means its light oscillates in only one direction, but that direction rotates with time,” said Ziteng Wang, an astrophysicist at the University of Sydney and the lead author of the new study, in a university press release. In other words, the radio waves were intermittently corkscrewing to Earth, without any rhyme or reason. And since they were detected, the trail’s gone cold.