Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Astronomers In China Detect Unusual Radio Signals Coming From Another Galaxy

The search for extraterrestrial life has been the driving force for interplanetary exploration, and it’s about to get a lot more exciting. Using a large telescope in China, astronomers have detected unusual radio signals from deep space.

Astronomers are coming closer to solving this ‘cosmic enigma,’ and have been able to trace them back to their mother galaxies. They still haven’t figured out what’s causing these pulses. Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are the radio signals.

In a thousandth of a second, these incredible blasts produce as much energy as the sun produces in a year. These transitory radio pulses are difficult to monitor and notice since they vanish in a fraction of a second. Astronomers have sought to understand what causes events since they were discovered in 2007.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ National Astronomical Observatories documented the FRB identified by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope in a study published in the journal Nature (FAST).

In the electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves have the longest wavelengths. Astronomers believe that certain extreme objects may be responsible for these bursts. A neutron star is the compact collapsed core of a massive star that burst as a supernova at the end of its life cycle; a magnetar is a form of neutron star with an ultra-strong magnetic field; and a black hole is a type of neutron star that is messily devouring a neighbouring star.

The FRB is thought to have come from a dwarf galaxy roughly 3 billion light-years away from Earth. The collective stellar mass of this galaxy is around one-2,500th that of our Milky Way. The FRB was discovered for the first time in 2019 by a telescope in China’s Guizhou province, which has a signal-receiving area of 30 football fields.

“We still call rapid radio bursts a cosmic enigma, and deservedly so,” said astronomer Di Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. “The burst blinks on and off in roughly a millisecond, significantly faster than an eye blink,” experts stated. Some FRB sources have been observed to release many bursts in what appear to be activity storms, whereas others have only been observed to burst once.

The newly discovered FRB is a recurring one with a persistent but weaker radio emission in the intervals between bursts. To put it another way, it is constantly “on.” The current one looks a lot like one identified in 2016, which was the first FRB to have its location pinpointed.

“Our lack of understanding of FRBs is reflected in the variety of models.” Our research suggests that active repeaters are formed as a result of a highly explosive event, such as a supernova. “These active repeaters are also young,” Li explained, “since they have to be spotted soon after the birthing event.”

Scientists may be able to establish the cause of these radio bursts thanks to discoveries like the recently described FRB. Another puzzling event, gamma-ray bursts, which originate from the demise of enormous stars, merging neutron stars, and magnetars, was previously explained by scientists.

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