Radio Galaxy Zoo Talk

What is this?

  • Explorer15 by Explorer15

    Is this a galaxy cluster with some many blackholes ? This is maybe the third or fourth image I have seen like this out of maybe 3000.


  • JeanTate by JeanTate in response to Explorer15's comment.

    Likely not.

    The radio source in the center is very bright, and bright sources produce a kind of triangular/hexagonal pattern of artifacts (in FIRST); it's an inevitable consequence of how the images are obtained. You can think of it as a sorta radio counterpart to the 'compass points' (diffraction spikes) you see in the IR (WISE) and optical (SDSS) images of bright stars (the physics of how these artifacts arise is very different, however).

    You can see the basic pattern - something like a six-pointed star - a bit more clearly in this version of the FIRST data (centered on the same object, but the field is bigger); the "ripples" are also part of this kind of artifact:

    enter image description here

    Hope this helps, and happy hunting! 😃


  • ivywong by ivywong scientist, admin

    Thanks @JeanTate. Yes, I think this is a #compact source with a bunch of noise artefacts.