A group of astronomers discovered a radio source named ASKAP J173608.2-321635 near the Galactic Centre, inside the Galactic plane. According to the paper published on the 2d of September, the mysterious signal is a highly polarized and highly variable transient point source, and the exact location is ∼4\,deg from the Galactic center. The group of researchers detected the radio signal six times during the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Variables and Slow Transients survey from January to September 2020.
What is ASKAP J173608.2-321635?
According to Ziteng Wang et all. the source has been monitored from November 2020 until February 2021 using a MeerKAT telescope. So far, astronomers concord that the source is not a low mass star, a transient magnetar, or Galactic Center Radio Transient. Further research is needed to discover if the steep-spectrum radio source, ASKAP J173608.2-321635 is a new class of objects that have not been identified before. Astronomers might exclude the possibility of the object being a flaring star because the latter have X-ray emissions, and they should be detectable. The object is not a pulsar star either because those have regular periodicity. The mysterious object has been fading.
Spotting the ASKAP J173608.2-32163 has been a challenging mission
Astronomers had a difficult task because it was not easy to spot the mysterious object. The object appeared and disappeared, and it could not be detected using a different radios telescope. The object was identified using the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa and the Australia Telescope Compact Array. However, it could not be detected with the Murriyang telescope in Australia. An explanation could be the interstellar medium between our planet and the object and the dust and magnetic fields. Further research might provide more clues to discover what type of object ASKAP J173608.2-32163 is.