They're picking up an unusual recurring signal emanating from outside our galaxy – Teach me about science

In 2007, a fast radio burst (FRB) was captured by astronomers for the first time. The source of these phenomena is mysterious because most of them occur and are never repeated. It has now been discovered Second sign Of this type, but they are repetitive, which makes it possible to study them, even if they raise new questions.

An international team of astronomers has discovered the second example of an active, recurring fast radio burst (FRB) with a compact source of weaker but persistent radio emission between bursts. Their report is in a press release. This 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 Five-hundred-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 to trace where it came from and where it came from. is that possible.

An artist's conception of a neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field, called a magnetar, which emits radio waves (red). (Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF).

Using the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and other telescopes to study the object, scientists in 2020 were able to trace the source to a distant galaxy about 3 billion light-years from Earth. VLA studies also revealed that the body continually emits weaker radio waves between bursts.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are very energetic and, as their name suggests, a 'fast radio burst', lasting only fractions of a second. They are not common, and most of them come from other galaxies. Generally, we only discover them once and they never repeat themselves, making them almost impossible to trace and explain their origin.

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According to the researchers, the recent radio burst appears to come from a compact continuous radio source, the nature of which is unknown. Something familiar was discovered in 2012, a repeating fast 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.

“These characteristics make this look very similar to the first FRB flow identified – also by the VLA – in 2016.” He said in a statement Casey's Law from Caltech. This development was a major breakthrough, providing the first information about the environment and distance of fast radio bursts. However, its combination of recurring bursts and persistent radio emission between bursts, coming from a compact region, set the 2016 object, called FRB 121102, apart from all other fast radio bursts known to date.

What is its possible origin? Prime candidates for sources of fast radio bursts are the ultra-dense neutron stars that remain after a massive star explodes as a supernova, or neutron stars with very strong magnetic fields, called magnetars.

“The field of fast radio bursts is moving very quickly at the moment and new discoveries are emerging every month. However, big questions remain, and this object gives us challenging clues to those questions.” Sarah Burke Splauer saidfrom West Virginia University (WVU).

Results appear in nature.

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