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Intergalactic radio bursts: 1,600 in two months

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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These “rapid impulses” (in English, fast radio blasts, or FRB) is millions of times the sun’s energy. “Maybe,” because it only lasts a millisecond. And we don’t know what they are.

It must be said that their discovery is recent. This label was first discovered in 2007. Being short made it impossible to accurately identify the source. In the following decade, several dozen FRBs have been discovered, but not one was observed more than twice until 2016.

And now, 1652 in 47 days.

At first they all seemed very far away, hundreds of millions or even billions of light-years away, but in 2020, One of them has been revealed Inside our galaxy, the Milky Way. better, We managed to connect it NS magnetic, any neutron star with a very strong magnetic field. Which goes in line with theories: to be so powerful, FRBs must attach to an object of rare strength in their own right, and magnets are “monsters”.

But this does not solve the mystery of what creates such signals. And even less than having 1,652 in 47 days.

the lucky one He is the one who was the first to be the subject of a second note. FRB 1211102 And so it was re-examined, for 60 hours spread over nearly two months, from August to October 2019, by A international team, under the guidance of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, into the Chinese radio telescope quickly (Five hundred meters long spherical radio telescope).

their notes It was published on October 13 in the magazine temper nature.

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In theory, it could be an object that flips on itself very quickly and “puffs” of radiation are detected when directed at us. That is, an average of 1,600 observations in 60 hours, one cycle every two minutes. The problem with this idea is that the notes are erratic. “Failure to disclose any periodic or quasi-periodic poses challenges,” the researchers wrote humbly.

At most, we note the possibility of another cycle: FRB 121102, based on follow-up over the years, appears to “blow out” in random 90-day bursts, then subside for 67 days. This could mean that it is orbiting another star – so this hides it from us for 67 days. Since the object is a billion and a half billion light-years away from us, only a few astronomical instruments will be able to take charge. But because their explosions vary between 10,000 and 100,000 times the energy emitted by the Sun per second, astrophysicists may continue to unravel the mystery.

Photo: FAST Radio Telescope in the mountains of Guizhou Province / Jeff Dai, TWAN

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