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Science: Astroboffins trace mysterious noise from hard rock in space

Science: Astroboffins trace mysterious noise from hard rock in space

The mysterious noise from space is a source of unusual faint pockets of microwave radiation, which has been discovered only in few zones of the Milky Way, The Register reported. Scientists have been traced back to tiny specks of nanodiamond dust from space.

A paper published in Nature Astronomy on Monday cracks the mystery of anomalous microwave emission (AME). It was first discovered in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century when scientists began probing the cosmic microwave background left over from the Big Bang.

Earlier, by examining the orbits of high-speed stars, scientists discovered that this galaxy has far less dark matter than previously thought, and only a third of that uncovered in previous observations. Jane Greaves, lead author of the paper and an astronomer at Cardiff University, said they discovered a signal emanating at a frequency of 10-60 GHz and considered it as a form of noise contaminating their measurements.

At first, they thought the radiation came from spinning polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules scattered throughout space.

“Though we know that some type of particle is responsible for this microwave light, its precise source has been a puzzle since it was first detected nearly 20 years ago,”

Greaves said.

But researchers believe they have now solved the problem. Instead of PAHs, it’s grains of spinning hydrogenated nanodiamonds that are so tiny, they cannot be seen by most microscopes.

Nanodiamonds are very rare, it is estimated that only one to two percent of carbon in these protoplanetary disks is used to create the molecules. No other young stars have been observed to emit this kind of radiation before. The nanodiamonds are created in the vapor of superheated, pressurized carbon atoms that have been energized from these hot stellar nurseries.

“This is good news for those who study polarization of the cosmic microwave background, since the signal from spinning nanodiamonds would be weakly polarized at best,”

said Brian Mason, co-author of the paper and an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.