An astronomer from the University of Toronto, Jennifer West stated that two objects in space that were previously thought to be separate are, in fact, connected by rope-like filaments in a press statement. This means that we might be surrounded by a magnetic field.
The two objects are the “North Polar Spur” and the “Fan Region.” The findings of her work are published in the Astrophysical Journal.
“If we were to look up in the sky,” West says, “we would see this tunnel-like structure in just about every direction we looked — that is, if we had eyes that could see radio light.”
West built a computer model that measured differences in the radio sky if the long ropes were in different positions in the night sky. “This is extremely clever work,” explains Bryan Gaensler, a professor at the Dunlap Institute and an author of the study. “When Jennifer first pitched this to me, I thought it was too ‘out-there to be a possible explanation. But she was ultimately able to convince me. Now, I’m excited to see how the rest of the astronomy community reacts.”
West saw what the radio sky would look like through our telescopes, helping her to match her model with real-world data. A ten-year global collaboration centered on the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope network, for example, also gave the team more insight into the matter.
Besides this, there are some unknown radio signals that “fit no currently understood pattern” that is also present in the cosmos around. West says that “I think it’s just awesome to imagine that these structures are everywhere whenever we look up into the night sky.”