Tech UPTechnologyThey detect a second radio signal that repeats a...

They detect a second radio signal that repeats a pattern

Fast radio bursts known as FRBs ( Fast Radio Burst ) are incredible radio wave emissions of just a few milliseconds that travel through space. They have been picked up periodically by radio telescopes here on Earth since they were discovered in 2007. Now, a new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society has determined that there is a pattern to a particular flare that repeats every 157 days. Although scientists have been using artificial intelligence to analyze the huge amounts of cosmic data, they are still not sure where the FRBs come from and what exactly is causing them.

Fewer than 100 of these events are known and only a small fraction are regularly repeated . Among the last group is FRB 12110 2 (probably the most famous FRB). The new work has revealed that this FRB could be repeated with a certain period that is detectable for approximately 90 days, followed by 57 days of silence, before starting the same pattern again. Experts studied 32 emissions detected over nearly five years and the cause of FRB 121102 is believed to be a strongly magnetic neutron star, or magnetar, rotating in precession; in other words, it no longer rotates vertically but at an angle, moving like a top would.

“This is an exciting result, as it is only the second system in which we believe that we see this modulation in burst activity . Detecting a periodicity provides a significant constraint on the source of emissions,” explains Kaustubh Rajwade of the University of Manchester and leader of the work.

Under this scenario, the emission is under some sort of alignment between the star’s magnetic axis and the Earth. However, this explanation does not fit with the possible 157-day period from the observations. Thus, the presence of a regular sequence in the burst activity could imply that the powerful explosions are linked to the orbital motion of a massive star, a neutron star or a black hole.


Already two

This work continues to show the variety of phenomena related to fast radio bursts from deep space.

The team confirms that FRB 121102 is the second repeating source of FRB to show such periodic activity. To your surprise, the time scale for this cycle is almost 10 times longer than the 16-day periodicity exhibited by the first radio wave source with a pattern, FRB 180916.J10158 + 56, which was recently discovered by the telescope. CHIME in Canada.

This discovery highlights how little we know about the origin of FRBs, ” says Duncan Lorimer of West Virginia University who, along with PhD student Devansh Agarwal, helped develop the data analysis technique that led to the discovery. “More observations from a larger number of FRBs will be needed to get a clearer picture on these periodic sources and to elucidate their origin.”


Referencia: Universidad de Manchester / Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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