Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Atlas of the Milky Way leads to discovery of two supernova remnants

Date:
August 30, 2011
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
It may not be much use to hitchhikers through the galaxy, but it is extremely valuable to astronomers: the new radio atlas of the Milky Way. After almost ten years of work, researchers have completed their investigation into the polarized radio emission in the galactic plane.

A new discovery in the sky: Supernova remnant G178.2-4.2.
Credit: NAOC/MPIfR

It may not be much use to hitchhikers through the galaxy, but it is extremely valuable to astronomers: the new radio atlas of the Milky Way. After almost ten years of work, researchers at the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have completed their investigation into the polarised radio emission in the galactic plane. The atlas is based on observations undertaken with the 25-metre radio telescope in the Chinese city of Urumqi and shows an area of 2,200 square degrees of the sky.

Related Articles


The radio survey covers the northern band of the Milky Way between ten and 230 degrees galactic longitude and between minus five and plus five degrees galactic latitude. The comprehensive survey shows the polarised radio emission of our galaxy at five gigahertz (corresponding to a wavelength of six centimetres) and thus at the highest frequency every recorded by terrestrial instruments.

The interstellar medium of the Milky Way comprises magnetic fields, electrons, atomic gas and other components which affect the polarisation plane of the radio emission. The Partner Group of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, which was set up at the National Astronomical Observatory (NAO) in Beijing, investigated the properties of regions of large-scale diffuse emission and mapped the structure of large objects which cannot be observed by larger radio telescopes. These include densely ionised clouds -- the HII regions -- and the remnants of exploded stars.

The aim of the project was to map the large-scale magnetic field of the Milky Way. The German and Chinese researchers found a handful of peculiar clumps with very strong, regular magnetic fields (Faraday screens) and two new supernova remnants each measuring around one degree. These are the first sources of this type to be discovered with a Chinese radio telescope; astronomers are currently only aware of 270 such objects in the Milky Way. The researchers were also able to classify two incorrectly identified supernova remnants as thermal radio sources.

The new atlas needed more than 4,500 hours of observations to compile, and its angular resolution is similar to that of the 21-cm wavelength survey of the Milky Way obtained at the 100-metre radio telescope at Effelsberg. The comparative analysis of these two large-scale sky surveys at similar angular resolution leads to a better understanding of the processes occurring in the interstellar medium.

The establishment of the Partner Group in China dates back to a resolution of the Max Planck Society on November 9, 2000. The proposal involved collaboration in the exploration of magnetic fields in galaxies with special emphasis being placed on the investigation of the magnetic field of our Milky Way. The most important contribution made by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn relates to the construction of a receiver for radio emission at six-centimetre wavelength including polarisation, which is being used at the 25-metre Nanshan radio telescope in Urumqi. The advantage of this radio telescope is its location at an altitude of 2,000 metres, where the better weather conditions are advantageous when observing radio emission at higher frequencies.

"Reciprocal visits to the institutes involved have formed a whole series of personal contacts," says Richard Wielebinski, emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy. "As far as the German researchers are concerned, we have established a good collaboration with our Chinese colleagues. Things which began with the Partner Group will be continued on a personal level."

"In the course of our work on this project, a total of five doctorates have been completed in our research group," says Jin-Lin Han, the Head of the Partner Group in Beijing. "Our collaboration has significantly boosted the development of radio astronomy in China. The way the objective of the Partner Group has been achieved is excellent."

The results of the research project encompass 24 scientific publications since 2002, most of them in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A). The project has provided researchers with a great deal of experience in conducting radio continuum observations and means significant progress has been made in the construction of receiver systems for Chinese astronomy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Atlas of the Milky Way leads to discovery of two supernova remnants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830111240.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2011, August 30). Atlas of the Milky Way leads to discovery of two supernova remnants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830111240.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Atlas of the Milky Way leads to discovery of two supernova remnants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830111240.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: China Launches Moon Orbiter

Raw: China Launches Moon Orbiter

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) China launched an experimental spacecraft Friday to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Prepares Unmanned Mission To Lunar Orbit

China Prepares Unmanned Mission To Lunar Orbit

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) The mission is China's next step toward automated sample-return missions and eventual manned missions to the moon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 22, 2014) Russian cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev step outside the International Space Station to perform work on the exterior of the station's Russian module. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins