The mysterious structures that exist in the sky and have puzzled astronomers for decades may finally be explained.
The North Polar Spur (North Polar Spur) structure and fan region, on opposite sides of the sky, may be connected by a vast system of magnetic filaments. They form a tunnel-like structure that orbits the solar system, and many nearby stars.
The North Polar Spur is a massive ridge of hot, X-ray and radio-emitting gas that rises above the plane of the Milky Way and begins near the Milky Way. Sagittarius constellation and extends to the constellations of Scorpio and the Wolf. The second structure, called the Fan Sphere, is similar and is on the opposite side of the sky.
“If we looked up to the sky, we would see this tunnel-shaped structure in almost every direction, that is, if we had eyes that could see radio light,” he said Astronomer Jennifer West of the University of Toronto in Canada.
Researchers have known about these two structures since the 1960s, but they have been difficult to understand. That’s because it’s really hard to figure out how far apart they are; Distance ranges from hundreds to thousands of light years, advances Portal Science Alert.
However, no analysis had linked the two structures to each other. The Canadian astronomer and his team were able to show that radio signals in two regions and the space between them can be combined, thus solving many of the problems associated with both. Using modeling and simulations, the researchers discovered what the sky would look like in radio waves if the two were connected by magnetic filaments.
Astronomer Dr Jennifer West of the Dunlop Institute has discovered that the Earth can be described as a magnetic tunnel.
The tunnel can be seen in radio waves.
— Dunlap Institute (@DunlapInstitute) 14 October 2021
Jennifer West, an astronomer at the Dr. Dunlop Institute, discovered that the Earth can be described as a magnetic tunnel. The tunnel can be seen on radio waves.
With this, the team was able to determine that the most likely distance from Earth for these structures in the Solar System is about 350 light-years, which is consistent with other estimates based on data from the Gaia mission. The entire length of the tunnel created by West and his team is about 1,000 light years.
Even more work is needed to confirm the results, and then model the structure in more detail.
The team plans to conduct more complex modeling, but suggests that the higher resolution observations will help reveal hidden details that show how the structure fits into the larger galactic context.
“Magnetic fields do not exist in isolation. They all must be interconnected. So the next step is to better understand how this local magnetic field connects so much. galactic magnetic field scale as well as the small-scale magnetic fields of our Sun and Earth,” the astronomer said.
“I think it’s amazing to imagine that these structures are everywhere, whenever we look at the night sky,” he concluded.