New insights into mysterious, cosmic 'fast radio bursts'

Scientists have spied about 30 FRBs so far, but FRB 121102 is the only signal source that is known to repeat. Their narrow structure and brief duration makes them extremely hard to detect. This causes the cosmic blasts to "shout and twist", which will help the scientists determine the source.

It is precisely the repetition that allowed astronomers to study the phenomenon. "And this is such a tantalising mystery and as time goes on we're getting more clues".

"More broadly, fast radio bursts probe the extremes of the universe, which are important for understanding because extreme astronomical sources have a large role in shaping the way the universe looks", Hessels said. "The radio flashes are very weak, so we need the world's largest radio telescopes to detect them", Hessels said. Since then, dozens of FRBs have been discovered. Spitler found a mysterious burst that lasted three one-thousandths of a second. Because it seems to sit in a star-forming region of its host galaxy, the scientists think FRB 121102 is linked to stellar birth or death.

Their patience paid off on Christmas Day, 2016. As Hessels explained, the stronger the field, the stronger the twisting of the waves.

When the radio waves pass through the magnetic field, they are twisted in a way known as Faraday rotation.

"Really the only [similar] environments that we've seen are in the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, near the galactic centre black hole and also other galactic centres", Scholz, who was a co-author of the study published in Nature this week, told CBC News. "This provides support to the models that the radio bursts are produced by a neutron star".

An global collaboration of scientists using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the William E. Gordon Telescope in Puerto Rico have confirmed that, the source of the bursts is embedded in an "extreme environment", which is among the most highly magnetised regions of space ever observed.

Another oddity: Though FRB 121102 is "prodigiously energetic", as Chatterjee put it, it only emits radiation in the radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum. "It's like fresh powder snow on a ski slope", said Chatterjee.

Boffins at Breakthrough Listen, a scientific research centre dedicated to finding intelligent life in the universe, confirmed it picked up the odd signals this week.

The 100-meter Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia is shown amid a starry night.

More news: Sales rise for food wholesaler Booker

And still, the astronomers have no idea what is actually producing these flares.

Though they're not completely understood, it's believed FRBs are caused by rapidly spinning neutron stars, small dense stars left over from supernovas.

Neutron stars are compact enough to produce the short, focused signal that characterizes an FRB, and sufficiently matter-rich to generate something so powerful.

Scientists now hope to do more work both to explore the bursts themselves and try and understand how such a star could be throwing the shot of energy all the way through the universe so that it can reach us.

"We are proceeding to screen how the properties of the blasts change with time", Hessels said.

Meanwhile, astronomers are eager to detect additional repeating bursts. "We found something that is clearly in an extreme place and the extreme location may create a phenomenon that is one of the biggest astrophysical mysteries of recent times". Do all FRBs repeat? Perhaps the FRB 121102 is in the same environment in its galaxy, "says lead investigator Daniel Micile of ASTRON".

In studying these emissions, the researchers focused on a feature of radio waves known as polarization.

"Our partners in the Breakthrough Listen project were able to use the Green Bank Telescope and a fantastic new instrument that they built to observe this source over the widest range of radio frequencies to-date, confirming what had been seen at Arecibo Observatory".

As FRBs traverse the dark spaces between galaxies, they interact with the diffuse material in those regions and carry a record of that interaction down to Earth. "I kept thinking, 'No way, that can't be right, '" said Victoria Kaspi, from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Related News:



Most liked

Trump says he would beat Winfrey in presidential contest
The " Oprah for President " movement has hardly started and the pundits are already trying to stop it. Meghan McCain, perhaps unsurprisingly, was negative on an Oprah presidential run.

'FBI had source inside Trump campaign'
Last week they asked the Justice Department to investigate Mr Steele, alleging that he made false statements to the government. It also describes lascivious behavior that might embarrass Trump or could have been used as leverage to influence him.

Joe Arpaio points to political traits he shares with Trump
In a Wednesday night interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN, Arpaio said there was "no doubt" Obama's birth certificate is fake. He was a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump during the campaign, and was pardoned by the President in August .

Real Madrid's Move for GK Kepa Arrizabalaga on Hold Over Toe Injury
I guess you can't win them all! "With hard work, good things will come". "That's when we need a little bit from everyone". Zidane said he has no interest in signing a striker in the January transfer window despite an injury to Karim Benzema.

Shooting report at Cal State San Bernardino leads to lengthy lockdown
Authorities said late Wednesday that it appeared someone north of the campus fired several rounds toward that building. All Wednesday night classes were canceled as San Bernardino and university police investigated the incident.

Manchester United to subsidise fans travelling to Sevilla
And they also claim United are in breach of rules because they charge different prices for home and away supporters. With this subsidy, the club will guarantee that no club members pay more than the €60 initially specified.

Marvel Studios taps writer to pen long-awaited Black Widow film
Do you actually believe this is happening? Black Widow is reportedly in development, but does not have a release date. Hopefully, Black Widow will be heavy on the espionage and hard action and easy on the pure superheroics.

Oppenheimer Research Analysts Decrease Earnings Estimates for Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ)
It turned negative, as 39 investors sold DPZ shares while 105 reduced holdings. 55 funds opened positions while 110 raised stakes. Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 12th. (NYSE: DPZ ) or 3,844 shares.

Ricky Martin Is Officially Married to Jwan Yosef!
I just had it in a little velvet pouch and instead of saying, 'Will you marry me?' I said, 'I got you something!' Bad. The couple first started dating back in 2016, with Ricky popping the question previous year .

Jay Bruce will reportedly sign with Mets
Cespedes opted out and re-signed and the Mets had shopped Bruce and his $13 million contract ever since. The Mets dealt Bruce to the Indians on August 9th in exchange for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan.

Jimmy Iovine calls predictions of his departure 'fake news'
Iovine, if you recall, joined the Cupertino-based company in mid-2014 alongside music producer and rapper Dr. As for what he is actually planning to do in the future, Iovine said that streaming will be the main focus.

Vikings will not open the doors for Sunday's game vs. Saints
Of all the teams that won over the weekend, however, it is those New Orleans Saints that looked like the team to beat. Minnesota went on to win six of their next seven home games, never allowing an opponent to score more than 17 points.

'Black Panther' Set a Marvel Record With Advance Ticket Sales
Ross, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative and Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force liaison. The ticket-buying frenzy is only the latest aspect to the excitement surrounding Black Panther .

Heartbroken family of 'Dolly' Everett launch anti-bullying campaign
Everett, who had appeared in Akubra campaigns when she was younger, committed suicide last week, her family said. Friends and family are asked to wear blue, Dolly's favourite colour, at the service on Friday.

First official Cyberpunk tweet in over 4 years posted
Cyberpunk 2077 started off as a role-playing game, which is reported to be set in the open sci-fi world of Night City. And that's evident by the game's official Twitter account becoming active for the first time in several years.