A first of its kind ‘intergalactic bridge’ that connects two clusters of galaxies named Abell 0399 and Abell 0401 has been spotted 10 million light-years away.
The breakthrough bridge type connection is discovered by a team of international scientists at the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Cagliari, Italy, by using the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescope. “Until today, a magnetic field had never been observed in the filaments that connect the clusters between them. The filaments of this web are in fact extremely rarefied and difficult to observe,” the team stated and announced the finding as “exceptional.”
The results were published in the Science Journal, but there’s still a lot to be learned from this groundbreaking discovery, such as whether emissions detected in this connective filament are a common phenomenon in space, beyond galaxy clusters.
LOFAR is a large radio telescope network made up of more than 25 thousand antennas spread over 51 stations, mainly in the Netherlands and also across Europe. It’s designed to explore the universe at low radio frequencies.