Astronomers at the University of Keele (UK) have captured signals from previously unknown stars and distant galaxies for the first time while observing the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This is reported in an article published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Scientists used the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio interferometer, consisting of 36 parabolic antennas, to image the LMC in radio waves and study the structure of the irregular galaxy neighboring the Milky Way. It lies 158,200 light-years from Earth and contains tens of millions of stars.
Astronomers have studied the stars that are contained in the LMC, including the Tarantula Nebula, the most active star-forming region in the Local Group of Galaxies. In addition, the researchers caught radio emission from distant galaxies in the background, as well as from stars in the foreground that are in the Milky Way.
According to lead author Clara Pennock, the new detailed image reveals thousands of cosmic radio sources that were not previously visible. Most of them are actually galaxies millions and billions of light years away from the Large Magellanic Cloud. Usually these galaxies are detected by the activity of supermassive black holes in their centers, but now they can be detected by the regions of star formation.