2021.5.6 highlights

A New Window to See Hidden Side of Magnetized Universe

Dr. Mami Machida released her research results.


An international team including Dr. Mami Machida discovered an interaction between astrophysical jets and intracluster magnetic fields. This result provides a new window to explore the hidden side of the magnetized Universe.

Astronomers used MeerKAT telescope, the state-of-the-art radio interferometer located in South Africa, to unveil the origin of unusual jets in the merging galaxy cluster Abell 3376[TT1] .

Abell 3376 consists of violently colliding two galaxy sub-clusters. A galaxy at the center of the cluster erupts two powerful jets. The unprecedentedly high-quality radio image of MeerKAT revealed for the first time that the jets bent with almost 90 degree, and wisp along the boundary between two clusters.

To elucidate the origin of this unusual morphology of the jets, a numerical simulation was performed with ATERUI II, the most powerful supercomputer in the world. The simulations revealed that the jets bent due to an interaction with intracluster magnetic fields.

New observations and simulations show that jets of high-speed particles emitted by the central massive black hole in a powerful radio galaxy in clusters can be used to map the structure of invisible intracluster magnetic fields. This opens a new window for investigating previously unexplored aspects of clusters of galaxies.

These results appeared as Chibueze, Sakemi, Ohmura et. al. “Jets from MRC 0600-399 bent by magnetic fields in the cluster Abell 3376” in Nature on May 6, 2021.


See the URL below for the details.

NAOJ: https://www.nao.ac.jp/en/news/science/2021/20210506-cfca.html