August 11, 2022

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The strangely slow radio burst in space is like a heartbeat

The strangely slow radio burst in space is like a heartbeat

CHIME radio telescope under the night sky, which is covered with superimposed lines of color.

A team of astronomers recently discovered a fast radio burst that lasts about 1,000 times longer than the average blast. It has a clear cyclic pattern. Radio Burst is a new selective addition to the playlist of mysterious radio signals that are emitted from various sources across the universe.

Rapid radio bursts are transient pulses of radio waves whose origins are unknown. All known streams came From beyond the Milky Way until 2020When CHIME Radio Telescope They detected a signal that appears to come from the galaxy’s vicinity.

The newly reported fast radio burst – discovered in December 2019 and named FRB 20191221A – came from a source billions of light years away and As noted by CHIME. Unlike most rapid radio bursts, lasting a few milliseconds, the last burst lasted three heavy seconds. The research team’s analysis was to indicate published This week in nature.

Danielle Micheli, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of the study at MIT Release. “This is the first time that the same signal has been periodic.”

Based on the periodicity of the explosion, researchers believe it was coming from a distant neutron star. Neutron stars are the collapsed remains of dead stars and are among the densest objects in the universe.

The luminous remains of a supernova seen in a composite X-ray and optical light image.

Some rotating neutron stars have very strong magnetic fields and are called either pulsars or magnetars, depending on the intensity of those fields. As the stars rapidly spin, they emit electromagnetic radiation, which arrives on Earth in the form of radio waves.

Pulsars are Useful for studying gravitational waves Because its reliable optical pulses come from its electrodes and can be timed with extreme precision. Scientists use differences in the timing of pulsars to determine whether the fabric of spacetime is distorted.

fast radio bursts mostly chalk For the activity of these extreme things. Although FRB 20191221A is no exception to this rule, it is strange even by the standards of fast radio bursts due to its consistency.

“There aren’t many things in the universe that send out precisely periodic signals,” Micheli said. “An example we know of in our galaxy are radio and magnetic pulsars, which rotate and produce a beacon-like beam. We think this new signal could be a magnetar or a pulsar on doping.”

With any luck, the 20191221A FRB will still be more consistent than its fuzzy brethren. In October 2021, a different team of astronomers reported a radio signal That looked like it twisted to Earth from near the center of the Milky Way—but when it was I trained more machines at the source, I shut up.

David Kaplan, co-author of that paper and an astrophysicist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told Gizmodo at the time that magnetic fields can sometimes entangle, causing a consistent pulse of radio signals to become choppy. or go Completely silent.

According to the MIT release, FRB 20191221A appears to be a million times brighter than radio emissions from pulsars and magnetospheres within the Milky Way. If the radio source continues to have explosions, the team may be able to better understand the origins of the mysterious bursts.

More: A strange radio signal from the center of the galaxy has stunned astronomers

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