Ultra-powerful VISTA telescope reveals regions of the universe long hidden from astronomers Our knowledge of the universe is limited by the fact that we live in a galaxy filled with interstellar gas and dust. This is especially true in the central region of the Milky Way, known as the “evasion zone” because of its abundance of dust. Within this region, the ability to observe extragalactic objects is limited, but this situation is gradually changing.
Even if visible light is blocked by dust, infrared light and radio waves can still penetrate the area. Astronomers have long used radio and infrared observations to study the centers of galaxies, including the study of stars orbiting supermassive black holes. The new study used publicly available data from the VVV (VISTA Variables in Via Láctea) survey collected by his VISTA telescope in Chile. Although this study focuses on star clusters, it also includes data on galaxies within the observation region. The researchers first selected the most common objects from the entire dataset and then filtered them to identify galactic objects with typical spectra. Although some galaxies may have been missed using this filtering method, the main goal was to find at least some galaxies rather than the complete galaxy set. The candidates found were compared with data from the 2MASS extended source catalog. The 2MASS catalog contains 1.5 million objects, of which only 271 are located in the VVV study area. After analysis, the researchers found that only 182 of these objects were galaxies. Although small in number, the study results are noteworthy. The VVV images provided much more detailed information than his 2MASS survey, allowing the astronomer to confirm his 75% of 2MASS galaxies in the region.
This is just the beginning of the study of galaxies hidden in the avoidance zone. In the future, the team plans to continue this research and use data from the expanded VVV survey, which will allow them to study thousands of galaxies. The long-hidden center of our galaxy will no longer be an unstudiable region.