Milky Way's centre 10 times stronger than rest of the Galaxy

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Washington, January 7 (ANI): An international research project has revealed that the magnetic field in the centre of the Milky Way is at least 10 times stronger than the rest of the Galaxy.

Scientists from the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics, the University of Adelaide, Monash University and the United States were involved in the research work.

The evidence regarding the centre of Milky Way having strong magnetism is significant because it gives astronomers a lower limit on the magnetic field, an important factor in calculating a whole range of astronomical data.

"This research will challenge current thinking among astronomers," said Dr Roland Crocker, the lead author.

"For the last 30 years, there has been considerable uncertainty of the exact value of the magnetic field in the centre of the Milky Way. The strength of this field enters into most calculations in astronomy, since almost all of space is magnetized," he said.

According to Dr David Jones, from the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, the findings will affect diverse fields, from star formation theory to cosmology.

"If our Galactic Centre's magnetic field is stronger than we thought, this raises additional questions of how it got so strong when fields in the early universe are, in contrast, quite weak," he said.

"We know now that more than 10 percent of the Galaxy's magnetic energy is concentrated in less than 0.1 percent of its volume, right at its centre," he added.

According to Dr Raymond Protheroe, Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Adelaide, "The Milky Way just glows in radio waves and in gamma-rays produced by collisions of energetic particles, and is brightest near its centre. Knowing the magnetic field there helps us understand the source of the radio and gamma-rays better." (ANI)

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