May 04, 2017 01:06 PM EDT
Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio observations along with other computer simulations, scientists have discovered a strange but a sight to behold in the Perseus galaxy cluster. Located about 250 million light years away, a wave of gas was seen swirling through the galaxy cluster.
According to New Atlas, lead scientist Stephen Walker from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center stated that the Perseus galaxy cluster is one of the most nearby clusters that could be accessed thoroughly using NASA’s Chandra. The wave was seen swirling through the extremely hot gas cloud in the Perseus galaxy cluster. The size was mentioned to be 200,000 light-years across, meaning twice the size of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Aside from that, the researchers have also mentioned that the wave seen in the Perseus galaxy cluster glows in X-ray. Walker explained further that the wave dubbed as X-ray tsunami was the result of a smaller cluster passing by that made it lose its balance and result in an expanding spiral of churning gas.
With that said, he also shared that he and his colleagues think that the X-ray tsunami phenomena happening in the Perseus galaxy cluster are that of Kelvin-Helmholtz wave that appears due to velocity difference between two fluids. The Kelvin-Helmholtz wave was also identified to occur in the clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere as reported by Gizmodo.
It was also added by the research team that the X-ray tsunami seen in the Perseus galaxy cluster was observed at the Centaurus and Abell 179 clusters as well. “Deep observations of nearby galaxy clusters with Chandra have revealed concave ‘bay’ structures in a number of systems...which have similar X-ray and radio properties,” the researchers explained in their paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
“These bays have all the properties of cold fronts, where the temperature rises and density fall sharply but are concave rather than convex.” Hence, the X-ray tsunami wave observed at the Perseus galaxy cluster was concluded to emit a feature of a concave bay that produces no radio emissions.
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