February 25, 2024

A mysterious celestial body emits strange radio signals

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The discovery of massive objects in the Orion Nebula has stunned the research community. Now a new study shows that many questions remain unanswered.

MEXICO CITY – Last fall, a research duo from the European Space Agency (ESA) made an unexpected discovery in the Orion Nebula. They discovered JuMBOs – the abbreviation stands for “Jupiter Mass Binary Objects”, that is, Jupiter-sized binary objects. “JuMBOs are pairs of planet-like objects that float alone in space without being associated with any stars,” study author Pearson explained after the discovery when asked by fr.de from IPPEN.MEDIA. The nature of these things was not clear at the time, and remains unclear today. However, another research team has now discovered the first clues.

What are the newly discovered JuMBOs?

It is unclear whether they are planets or a new type of object smaller than brown dwarfs. However, another research team has now also looked into the mysterious JuMBOs. The team led by Luis Rodriguez (National Autonomous University of Mexico) wanted to approach binary objects in a different way: using radio astronomy. Since each type of celestial body emits different radio waves, looking at radio waves could help identify objects, Rodriguez's team theorizes.

The Orion Nebula (M42) is home to a star-forming region – and several “massive objects” recently discovered by a research team. (Archive photo) © imago Images/Imaginechina-Tuchong

However, in archival data from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the United States, the research team only found data recorded from one of the many objects detected. Only JuMBO 24 – an object more exotic than the others – emits radio waves. JuMBO 24 is the heaviest of the objects discovered, and has the smallest area between the two parts that make it up.

Only JuMBO 24 emits radio waves, but it does not give an answer

The team analyzed a decade of data that showed radio waves remained uniformly strong, with a frequency of between six and ten gigahertz. Radio waves are also not circularly polarized, meaning they do not have rotating helical fields, according to the study In the specialized magazine Astrophysical Journal Letters published had become.

The signals don't tell the research team which celestial bodies are, but they are an indicator of what they might not be: planets. Researchers expect a different type of signal from planets. The radio waves from exoplanets observed so far are more diverse and less powerful than the observed signal. The research team can rule out brown dwarfs and pulsars based on radio waves.

The Orion Nebula can be found in the magnificent winter constellation Orion.  It represents
The Orion Nebula can be found in the magnificent winter constellation Orion. It represents the “sword” hanging from the “belt”. On clear nights, fog can be seen with the naked eye. (Archive photo) © imago Images/StockTrek Images

Radio waves reveal celestial objects that may not exist

According to the research team, it is very certain that the captured radio signal actually comes from JuMBO 24: so the probability that the radio waves come from an object behind JuMBO 24 is only 1:10,000. The research team also rules out the possibility that the signal is coming from extraterrestrial intelligence. Opposite the gate Live sciences Rodriguez also explains why: “The fact that both components are emitted to a similar extent suggests a natural mechanism.” It seems as if more research is needed to uncover the identity of the massive creatures. (unpaid bill)