Unidentified space object emitting FTL radio waves

(Via New Scientist) Tom Muxlow and his team at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics near Macclesfield, UK, has observed an unclassifiable object in the nearby  M82 galaxy emitting radio waves utterly unlike those generated by supernovae, or anything else ever observed.

…[I]t does seem to be moving – and fast: its apparent sideways velocity is four times the speed of light. Such apparent “superluminal” motion has been seen before in high-speed jets of material squirted out by some black holes. The stuff in these jets is moving towards us at a slight angle and travelling at a fair fraction of the speed of light, and the effects of relativity produce a kind of optical illusion that makes the motion appear superluminal.

[Muxlow’s] best guess is still that the radio source is some kind of dense object accreting surrounding material, perhaps a large black hole or a black hole in an unusual environment. Perhaps the phenomenon also happens occasionally in our galaxy, but is more common in M82 because it is a “starburst” galaxy – a cosmic cauldron where massive stars are forming and exploding at a much higher rate than in the Milky Way, creating a lot of new black holes.

Unexplained and unexplainable objects from beyond the stars with unimaginable properties? Lovecraft was ahead of his time. Now I know how he must have felt when Einstein was still publishing.

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