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The Unidentified Object of Galaxy M82 (Today's Most Popular)




M82, a starburst galaxy was previously believed to be an irregular galaxy. In April 2010, radio astronomers working at the Jodrell Bank Observatory of the University of Manchester reported an unknown object in M82. The object has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before. 

"The new object, which appeared in May 2009, has left us scratching our heads -- we've never seen anything quite like this before," said Dr Muxlow. "The object turned on very rapidly within a few days and shows no sign of decaying in brightness over the first few months of its existence. The new young supernova explosions that we were expecting to see in M82 brighten at radio wavelengths over several weeks and then decay over several months, so that explanation seems unlikely."

The plausibility of a supernova explanation was further undermined when very accurate positional monitoring by the UK network of radio telescopes, MERLIN, tentatively detected a change in position for the object over the first 50 days. This was equivalent to an apparent superluminal motion of over 4 times the speed of light. Such large apparent velocities are not seen in supernova remnants and are usually only found with relativistic jets ejected from accretion disks around massive black hole systems.The nucleus of M82, like most major galaxies, is expected to contain a super-massive black hole.

The new detection lies at a position close to, but several arcseconds from the dynamical centre of M82 -- far enough away that it would seem unlikely that this object is associated with the central collapsed core of this galaxy.The new source could be the first radio detection of an extragalactic 'micro-quasar'. Examples of such systems within the Milky Way are found as X-ray binaries with relativistic jets ejected from an accretion disk around a collapsed star fuelled with material dragged from a close binary companion.

However, this object would be brighter than any Galactic example yet detected, has lasted months longer than any known X-ray binary, and lies at a position in M82 where no variable X-ray source has been yet been detected.

If this object is an extragalactic micro-quasar, it would be the first that has been detected at radio wavelengths. The very high luminosity suggests that it is likely to be associated with a massive black hole system of some type; however this and its longevity imply that this type of object is extremely unusual and has not yet been seen within the Mily Way.

There have been several theories about the nature of this unknown object, but currently no theory entirely fits the observed data. The problem with the  "micro quasar" theory is microquasars produce large quantities of X-rays, whereas no X-rays have been seen from the mystery object.The object is located at several arcseconds from the center of M82.

The Subaru imageof M 82 at the top of the page with infrared telescopes have found a very strong wind emanating from it — a 'superwind' that is composed of dusty gas and extends over many hundreds of thousands of light years (middle and bottom of image). This high-powered windstorm ejects material from the galaxy at a speed of about a half a million miles per hour, sweeping it up from the central regions and depositing it far and wide over the galaxy and beyond. The contents of this material are seeds for solar systems like our own, and perhaps for life itself. The dusty superwind glows brightly in the infrared, because billions of bright, newly-formed stars heat it up.

The Subaru image gives scientists insight about the sources of the superwind. Dr. Gandhi sums up the new findings: "The wind is found to originate from multiple ejection sites spread over hundreds of light years rather than emanating from any single cluster of new stars. We can now distinguish 'pillars' of fast gas , and even a structure resembling the surface of a 'bubble' about 450 light years wide."

An exciting question that remains to be answered is whether or not M 82 hosts an actively growing supermassive black hole. Team members Drs. Mark Birkinshaw and Diana Worrall of the University of Bristol note, "Detailed analysis of the new infrared data combined with X-rays does not find any such object." However, all large galaxies could well contain these monsters, which are known to grow and evolve in conjunction with stars. The team concludes that M 82 may be no exception, and the search for its big black hole must continue.



The Daily Galaxy via Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and


i don't want to say its aliens. but, its aliens!

Very well could be aliens...but with technology millions of years beyond ours, how would or (will we) be able to discern natural phenomena from their own actions?

If that speed proved to be true; is there anything
In nature that can break the speed limit? Ai perhaps?

So according to this, "relativistic jets ejected from accretion disks around massive black hole systems" are already known to travel as much as 4 times faster than the speed of light???

4 X faster than the speed of light. Awesome.

It doesn't mean it's traveling 4 times the speed of light. It just appears to. The same way if you were standing on the moon, and someone swept a powerful laser across it from earth, the laser point would appear to move faster than light. "apparent superluminal motion" isn't the same as actually moving faster than light.

4 x speed of light winds and no signs of a supermassive blackhole yet. If they arent picking up a super massive blackhole, is it possible that there could be few small blackholes bonded by orbiting unison?

It's an alien ship made to look like a galaxy. Bits of it look like they move at 4X light speed but they don't. The 'galaxy' is actually much closer than it appears.

guess what

electricity travels faster than light - connect one end of the cord and power starts pouring on the other end - so simple

I can't understand how some people can be paid for saying so much rubbish in one article

Sorry Ela, but electricity does not travel faster than light. Electrons traveling down a conducting medium travel at almost the speed of light. Not at the speed and definately not faster.

Wiki: Propagation speed is affected by insulation, such that in an unshielded copper conductor range 95 to 97% that of the speed of light, while in a typical coaxial cable it is about 66% of the speed of light

I'm pretty sure he was trolling.

Perhaps a type 3 civilization!!??

So in a coaxial cable electrons travel at 66% of the speed of light, so an spaceship traveling at that speed would reach our closest neighboring solar system in about 8 years. I think that is feasible. Its not necessary to travel at "relativistic" speed.

Perfectly aligned gravitational lensing will make things look as though theyr traveling faster. Look through a crystal ball and see objects through it moving faster than normal then take the light through the middle of the ball into the shape of the bottom of a glass and light will bend around irregularities. Dark matter and black holes will do things like this.

The Ewoks were saying the same thing. Then, boom, death star tracker beamed to their planet.

I am coming for your world!

it may possibly be some type of civilization or creature. The chance of that is very low. But there is a quote it says “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

― Arthur C. Clarke

That stament is very true but we will just have to face the facts. We will most likely never visit anything out from our solar systme but there is some type of animal or a alien of some what. We will probably never get a chance in our 4 billion years left to live never see one out of our solar systme. but NASA and other space agencys's come to belive that there may be some type of animal living on a moon of Jupiter called "Europa"
the moon has a frozen solid crust but under may be a ocean that could possibly support some type of live. It will be about 200-500 years most likely until we can visit this moon because of it's distance from the sun and harsh living conditions. I would love to find in my life time a living organism i am a student at the moment but my goal in my life is to go to college and work for NASA or other space agency's. Thanks for anybody who reads this.

so are the radio waves like a message, could they be deciphered? or is this just a natural phenomenon?

Probably it cannot be deciphered, it's not likely that they use the same encoding system as we do.

Nasa engineer Harold White has started a project aimed at constructing {hopefully} the first Warp Drive engine {Alcubierre drive} to date. Its all very premature at the moment, but it tries to establish a new way of building the Alcubierre drive without needing technology able to generate energy similar to the mass of Jupiter, as MR. Alcubierre calculated, but rather keep it compact to object as massive as the Voyager module.

go to -Difficulties --Mass–energy requirement --third paragraph

cool stuff

What if this object is actually closer to us than the galaxy and it's just accidentally following the galaxy? Then, the scientist have calculated the speed wrong and it's not 4 times the speed of light. Maybe this object is closer to us than we really think.

what are you talking about. the voyager spacecraft has left the solar system already. it would be totally possible to leave the solar system "in our 4 billion years left". Its expected in the next million or so years we will have colonized local galaxies. And you wont be working for any intelligence agency like NASA if your making statements like that

It's talking about a black hole here, people.

just thinkin, if it was moving towards us at 4* the speed of light, it would have gone past us and sortof 3*the distance "behind" us before the light arrives here from its original position. also say at ½ the speed of light an object moving towards us by the same principle would appear to move 2* the speed of light, since it takes that much time for the light of the occurrance to reach us. sortof making a fast forward view of the events. point being, were not seeing the events in realtime. were seeing what happened years ago (in case of events lightyears away)

It's the Atraxi.

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