Four unidentified objects have been discovered in deep space and astronomers have never seen anything like them. Australian astronomers know that the mysterious objects are round with bright outer edges. They apparently look like four "distant ring-shaped islands" and were discovered while astronomers were mapping the sky in radio frequencies. This is a part of a pilot survey for a new project called the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU).
The four unidentified objects have been dubbed, odd radio circles, or ORC. According to the research team's findings, "None of the ORCs has obvious optical, infrared, or X-ray counterparts to the diffuse emission, although in two cases there is an optical galaxy near the center of the radio emission." They went on to note that the ORCs have "strong circular symmetry" and all had a diameter of around one arcminute. For comparison, the moon's diameter is 31 arcminutes. The astronomers have ruled out objects like supernovas, star-forming galaxies, planetary nebulas, and gravitational lensing.
One theory about the ORCs states that they could be shockwaves leftover from some "extragalactic event" or even possible activity from a radio galaxy. "While this is a theoretical possibility, such a shock has not yet been observed elsewhere," researchers say. With that being said, it sounds like this could very well be a pretty major discovery, which is all thanks to two different radio telescopes. The astronomers used two just to make sure they were not getting any imaging errors since they were blown away by what they discovered. Kaustubh Rajwade, from the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, U.K., who is not affiliated with the original study, had this to say about the discovery.
"The fact that these ORCs have been observed with different telescopes at different times rules out spurious artefacts as their origins. The radio morphology immediately reminds me of supernova remnants or planetary nebulae but as the authors suggest, finding so many of them in such a small volume off the Galactic Plane seems unlikely. I think the prospect of them being relics of an older explosion is really exciting. Such events can produce a spherical shock wave that can light up the ambient medium. The only way to know more about these mysterious objects is through deep observations at multiple wavelengths."
This is exciting for the world of astronomy, but may be a bit of a disappointment for those hoping that these were UFOs with Alien pilots. There's a lot going on out in space exploration at the moment and there's more to come. Chinese astronomers recently found a green gel-like substance on the dark side of the moon, which was very intriguing to everybody involved, though it turned out to be a mixture of melted moon rock, thanks to an alleged meteoroid crash.
The report has not been officiated by Nature Astronomy, though it has been submitted for peer review. From there, the scientists will more than likely get the green light to explore further using different wave lengths and possibly getting a budget to do so. Who knows what else is lurking out there in deep space? You can head over to the Arxiv website to read the research paper and form your own hypothesis as to what these ORCs really are.