Nov 4, 2022

First Glimpse Into the Inner Depths of an Active Galaxy Provided

Posted by in category: particle physics

Evidence of high-energy neutrino emission from the galaxy NGC 1,068 has been found by an international team of scientists for the first time. First spotted in 1,780, NGC 1,068, also known as Messier 77, is an active galaxy in the constellation Cetus and one of the most familiar and well-studied galaxies to date. Located 47 million light-years away from us, this galaxy can be observed with large binoculars. The results, to be published today (November 4, 2022) in the journal Science, were shared yesterday in an online scientific webinar that gathered experts, journalists, and scientists from around the globe.

Physicists often refer to the neutrino as the “ghost particle” because they almost never interact with other matter.

The detection was made at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. This massive neutrino telescope, which is supported by the National Science Foundation, encompasses 1 billion tons of instrumented ice at depths of 1.5 to 2.5 kilometers (0.9 to 1.2 miles) below Antarctica’s surface near the South Pole. This unique telescope explores the farthest reaches of our universe using neutrinos. It reported the first observation of a high-energy astrophysical neutrino source in 2018. The source is a known blazar named TXS 0506+056 located 4 billion light-years away off the left shoulder of the Orion constellation.

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