The spherical cluster Omega Centauri is a rather impressive view: millions of stars hooked into an exquisite globe, its nucleus brightened by the closely located cosmic objects. New research has revealed a recent finding located at the core of this cluster: five pulsars.
What is the Core Hiding
Omega Centauri is located 17,000 light-years away – an enchanting cosmic body to analyze. Although researchers know over 200 globular clusters located in the outer areas of the Milky Way, Omega Centauri is one of the most gigantic and one of the brightest.
Its attributes have made researchers believe that this cluster was once a dwarf galaxy that was devoured by the Milky Way and had its outer stars taken away.
To better understand the object, scientists would have to analyze the actions and signatures of radio pulsars in the cluster’s nucleus. The motions of these thick astral bodies would offer details about the core’s dynamics, probably unveiling the gravitational impact of concealed massive black holes. The actions of the pulsars’ output could also reveal a lot about the interstellar environment of the cluster, confining particle dark matter annihilation models.
More Pulsars Awaiting to be Found
Even though radio pulsars are usually found in the nucleus of other globular clusters, they have remained out of reach in Omega Centauri. An appealing clue appeared in 2010 with the finding of a gamma-ray source in the cluster’s core, but nothing was discovered after numerous years looking for pulsed radio emission from the location.
A new assay led by Shi Dai from the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility has utilized the Ultra-Wideband Low receiver on the Parkes radio telescope in Australia to accelerate the search intensity. This way, the team discovered five dim millisecond pulsars concealed in Omega Centauri’s nucleus.
The recently found pulsars have rotating periods that range from 4.1 to 6.8 milliseconds. Although four of them are hidden, the fifth is located in an eclipsing binary system with an incredibly low-mass star, rotating every 2.1 hours.
Dai and his team have discovered more compact origins in deep radio continuum photographs of Omega Centauri’s core, implying that there may be more pulsars around.