Latest insights into radio bursts from highly magnetic regions of space

Federico Mansilla
Enero 13, 2018

Recently, an worldwide team of astronomers has advanced a step closer to solving this big question mark associated with the blasts that occur far away in the space.

The website said fast radio bursts are intense pulses of radio waves lasting only milliseconds, but can give off more energy in a fraction of a second than the sun does in hours, days or weeks.

Global astronomers have spotted a few dozen FRBs - and as many as 10,000 may occur daily - but only one has repeated sporadically, known as FRB 121102, allowing it to be studied. Out of these 10,000, scientists could only determine one burst that was repeated in a sporadic fashion which was termed as FRB 121102. This environment could be a result of a highly magnetized region in the far expanse of dark space.

A new report shows the intensity of the unusual pulses called fast radio bursts (FRBs) have become more extreme - meaning the blasts emit more energy in a single millisecond than our sun does all day.

The radio bursts from FRB 121102 could also originate from a young neutron star inside a powerful nebula, or a supernova remnant, the report said.

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A senior research associate in astronomy at Cornell University, Shami Chatterjee explained that this event is an exotic one. If these radio bursts occurred on the opposite side of our galaxy, it would have disrupted the radio signals on Earth with saturated levels of the signal on our smart devices.

These radio bursts were first discovered in 2007, so small even steps toward understanding their source offers big excitement for astronomers.

A professor of astronomy, James Cordes, at Cornell University stated that these telescopes used remote sensing to obtain data present three billion light years away from Earth. The data was culled from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and confirmed by Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia.

The statement said that the FRB 121102 radio bursts twisted to such an extreme - more than 500 times greater any other fast radio burst observed to date - that astronomers believe it must pass through a high magnetic field in dense plasma. She now works at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.

FRB 121102 was discovered in 2014 by Laura Spitler, a postdoctoral researcher who now works for the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany. An in-depth study of these new found data shall allow the astronomers to provide a rather specific explanation about the neighboring environment of the source of these radio bursts and more specifically, the FRB 121102.

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