some Astronomy scientists They observed a mysterious cosmic object capable of releasing 1,652 bursts of energy in a short period of time. However, they still have an exact answer to the causes of these rashes.
This phenomenon is known as fast radio bursts (FRB, Radio blast), which was first discovered in 2007. It generates pulses in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that last only a few milliseconds, but produce the same amount of energy as the sun over the course of a year.
Some FRBs release energy only once, but others repeat their bursts, one of which is an object called FRB 121102, located in a small galaxy three billion light-years from Earth, he explains. Live Science.
To comprehensively study this strange phenomenon, a team of scientists used the 500-meter aperture spherical telescope (FAST) located in southwest China.
According to Bing Zhang, an astrophysicist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the idea at first was just to collect data about this specific object’s routine. “In the beginning, it was just about collecting stamps,” he stated.
However, as the same astrophysicist explains, FAST is the most sensitive radio telescope in the world, making it capable of detecting things and details that other observatories may have missed.
Thus, for about 60 hours, the researchers watched FRB 121102 explode 1,652 times, even detonating 117 times per hour (much more than any other known FRB object repeating its explosions). These results have been published in the journal temper nature.
Most FRBs are found in the farthest reaches of the universe, so they are difficult to study. But in 2020, a group of Astronomy scientists They found FRB within our galaxy, the Milky Way. It was this discovery that allowed them to determine that the source was a type of dead star called a magnetar.
Magnetostars, also called magnetars, consist of super-dense stellar bodies known as neutron stars. All of these have strong magnetic fields, but some are atypical and have particularly strong magnetic fields, which can distort their behavior. In this way, they become magnetic.
It has not yet been determined whether all FRBs are magnetic, and it is not known how magnetars give rise to these radio bursts.
However, data collected by Zhang and colleagues indicate that if FRB 121102 is a magnetar, the supernovae occur directly at the surface of the star itself, rather than in the surrounding gas and dust.
According to Zhang, Astronomy scientists The investigation of the FRBs suspects that they are detecting radio waves either from the initial explosion or from when the explosions collided with the material surrounding the star, producing powerful shock waves.
But the astrophysicist claims that FRB 121102 occasionally showed explosions in quick succession, with an interval of a few thousandths of a second. This means that it cannot be generated by the surrounding gases and dust.
The reason is, according to Zhang, such interstellar material would need time to heat up, give off radio waves, and then cool down again before unleashing another explosion. Fractions of a second between emissions of FRB 121102 are not sufficient to repeat this process.
While the data obtained now supports the idea that FRBs are magnetars, they are known to produce energetic explosions, says Victoria Caspi, an astrophysicist at McGill University in Montreal who studies FRBs but was not involved in the new study. Not conclusive yet.
But despite everything, Kaspi claims that while the 2020 FRB in our galaxy does not emit many bursts in a short time, it may be because it is older, and perhaps the younger magnets can match the observations of FRB.112102.
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