‘We’ve never seen anything like it’: the student who discovered enigmatic object in the Milky Way

  • Fernando Duarte
  • From the BBC World Service

Tyrone O'Doherty

Credit, Tyrone O’Doherty

photo caption,

Tyrone O’Doherty was 20 years old when he accidentally discovered a mysterious object in space, which made global news when it was published in a scientific study.

When Tyrone O’Doherty joined Australia’s International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) as a graduate student, his primary goal was to design a computer program that would help investigate radio waves in the Universe.

Instead, in November 2020, he came across an unidentified spinning object in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The discovery, followed by many months of checks, was finally announced in January of this year, in a study published in the scientific journal Nature.

“I was just trying to write code and I didn’t expect to come across something so exciting,” O’Doherty, 22, tells the BBC.

“There’s nothing known in heaven that does what it (object) does. And it also helped me graduate (university) with honors. So I can’t complain,” jokes the young man.

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