CALGARY (660 NEWS) — The University of Calgary is getting some international recognition after discovering a giant magnetic field structure in a spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Russell Shanahan and Stephen Lemmer uncovered the previously unknown fingerprint while they worked with data from the international THOR project, a survey of interstellar gas in the Milky Way.
Shanahan is currently a PhD student at the university, while Lemmer was an honours astrophysics undergraduate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
It is believed this is the first time this pattern has ever been seen.
The discovery plays an important but not well-understood role in forming stars from clouds of molecular gas and dust.
The area of which the magnetic field was discovered was about 18,000 light-years from Earth.