Repeating signals from a distant galaxy have baffled scientists – Enseñame de Ciencia

In 2007, astronomers captured a fast radio burst (FRB) for the first time. The source of these phenomena is a mystery because most of them occur and never recur. Now it has been discovered mark sec Of this kind, but it is repeated, which makes it possible to study it, although it raises new questions.

An international team of astronomers has found the second example of an active and repetitive fast radio burst (FRB) with a compact source of weak but persistent radio emissions between bursts, reported in a press release. The discovery raises new questions about the nature of these mysterious objects and also about their usefulness as tools for studying the nature of intergalactic space.

The new source, called FRB 20190520B, was found by the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in China in May 2019. Scientists became aware of the data in November 2019 and since then the mission has been tracking its source and what it might be.

Artist’s concept of a neutron star with a super-strong magnetic field, called a magnetar, emitting radio waves (red). (Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF).

Using the Karl G. Matrix, VLA studies have also found that the body continuously emits weaker radio waves between bursts.

FRBs are very active and as their name says “Fast Radio Burst”, they only last for milliseconds. They are not common, plus most of them come from other galaxies. Generally, we only discover it once and never again, which makes it nearly impossible to trace it back and explain its origin.

According to the researchers, the latest radio burst appears to have come from a stationary pressurized radio source, the nature of which is unknown. Something familiar was discovered in 2012, a famous, rapidly repeating radio burst called FRB 121102. Are repeaters different from non-repeaters? The differences between these open up the possibility that they are in fact from different sources.

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“These features make this very similar to the first FRB positioned – also by the VLA – back in 2016,” he said in a statement Casey Law Caltech. This development was a breakthrough, providing the first information about the environment and distance of the FRB. However, the combination of repeated bursts and continuous radio emissions between bursts, coming from a compressed region, distinguished the 2016 object, named FRB 121102, from all other known FRBs, to date.

What is its possible origin? The main candidates for FRB sources are ultra-dense neutron stars left after a massive star exploded in the form of a supernova, or neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields, called magnetars.

“The FRB field is moving very quickly right now, with new discoveries coming out every month. However, big questions remain, and this object gives us hard clues about those questions.” said Sarah Burke-Spollorfrom West Virginia University (WVU).

Results appear in nature.

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