Neutrinos offer a new perspective on the Milky Way

Neutrinos offer a new perspective on the Milky Way


The above-mentioned map shows that there are sources of energetic neutrinos in the Milky Way, which may be remnants of past supernova explosions, cores of collapsed massive stars, or other unknown objects; But more research is needed to find out the nature of these particles.

In the past, only a few high-energy neutrinos were traced back to their birthplaces, all outside the Milky Way. These neutrinos originated from black holes that swallowed their companion stars or from active galaxies known as blazars. according to Kate ScholbergDuke University Physicist:

Neutrino astronomy allows us to see distant objects in a way no telescope has ever seen before. The reason for this is that neutrinos can pass through large spaces without being absorbed or deflected. On the other hand, X-rays, gamma rays, visible light and charged particles that make up the universe are absorbed or deflected, and this feature can hide their origin.

Naoko Kurahashi Nielsen, a physicist from Drexel University in Philadelphia along with his group prepared the neutrino map. In the past, neutrino observatories like IceCube, like telescopes based on visible light, X-ray or gamma rays, did not have enough diversity to show different perspectives.

Three methods for mapping the Milky Way

In the three views below, the Milky Way is seen in visible light (top image), gamma rays (middle image), and energetic neutrinos (bottom image). The first particle map is based on data collected by the massive IcCube detector, which is located deep in the Antarctic ice. Dust obscures parts of the visible light map, and gamma rays may have originated from multiple sources; But neutrinos can point to situations like energetic X-rays from supernova remnants, cores of collapsed stellar giants, and other unknown sources interacting with dust in the galaxy.


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