A telescope in South Africa by the name of MeerKAT enabled the discovery of two giant radio galaxies recently. Finding one radio galaxy is special. Finding two is fantastic. Radio galaxies get their name from the fact that they release huge beams, or “jets”, of radio light. The find was made possible by the ability of a phenomenally powerful telescope called the MeerKAT to detect faint, diffuse light, which previous telescopes were unable to do. The giant radio galaxies were spotted in new radio maps of the sky created by one of the most advanced surveys of distant galaxies. The discovery will add to astronomers’ understanding of the evolution of galaxies since the “big bang”.
In today’s episode of Pasha Jacinta Delhaize, radio astronomer and SARAO Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town, takes us through the finding and what it means for the future.
Photo: MeerKAT radio telescope. By Morganoshell found on Wikimedia Commons
“Celestial Jerusalem ” by Minson, found on FreeMusicArchive.org licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License..