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The Astronomer Creates The Amazing Picture

June 19, 2014

The magnetic field emitted by the galaxies we have revealed for the first time in a stunning new image.

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Taken by ESA Planck satellite, compiled from the observations of the first all-sky glow 'polarized' emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.

Astronomical equivalent of looking through polarized glasses, it shows the spinning, round and arch which tracks the magnetic field structure in our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

Light is a form of energy that is very familiar and yet some of all hidden properties to everyday human experience.

One of them - polarization - carries a lot of information about what's going on along the path of the light beam, and can be used by astronomers.

Light can be described as a series of waves of electric and magnetic fields that vibrate in a direction perpendicular to each other and their direction of travel, according to ESA.

This can happen, for example, when light bounces off reflective surfaces such as mirrors or sea. Special filters can be used to absorb the polarized light, which is how polarized sunglasses eliminate glare.

In space, the light emitted by stars, gas and dust can also be polarized in a variety of ways.

"By measuring the amount of polarization in this light, astronomers can study the physical processes that lead to polarization," said European Space Agency.

"In particular, the polarization can reveal the existence and nature of the magnetic field in a medium light has to travel. '

Astronomers create stunning images European Space Agency's Planck satellite was previously arrested microwave radiation image of the entire sky. In this image, the dust of the Milky Way is shown in blue, with red in the middle of the mob showed a hot area, while the mottled yellow area above and below is a relic radiation, otherwise known as the Cosmic Microwave Background, the fireball created in the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, which is the oldest light in the universe.

The new map is obtained by using the Planck detector that acts as an astronomical equivalent of polarized sunglasses.

In addition to the hundreds of billions of stars, our galaxy is filled with a mixture of gas and dust, the raw material from which stars are born.

Astronomers create stunning images of galactic magnetic field is revealed in a new image from ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from observations of the first all-sky polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way, and is obtained by using the Planck detectors that act as polarized sunglasses.

Although small dust grains are very cool, but they emit light at very long wavelengths - from infrared to microwave domain.

If the item is not symmetrical, more than light emitted to vibrate parallel to the longest axis of the grain, making polarized light.

If the orientation of the entire cloud of dust grains are random, there is no net polarization will be seen. However, cosmic dust grains are almost always spinning fast, tens of millions of times per second, due to collisions with photons and atoms move faster.

Then, because of interstellar clouds in the Milky Way that is threaded by a magnetic field, spinning dust grains become aligned with their long axis preferential perpendicular to the magnetic field direction.

As a result, no net polarization in the emitted light, which can then be measured.


Planck is ESA's time machine, looking back to the beginning of time near the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago.

Planck will analyze, with the highest accuracy ever achieved, the remnants of the radiation that filled the Universe immediately after the Big Bang - is observed today as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).

The result will help astronomers determine theories about the birth and evolution of the universe is correct, for example, whether the universe began its life with a period of rapid expansion?

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