Radio Bursts in Space: Scientists Found One of Their Sources, and They Are Confused

A mysterious fast hole of radio energy keeps lighting up the night sky, and scientists don’t really know why. They have recently discovered an example of the phenomenon, which has been traced to its place of origin, which is a nearby spiral galaxy. This was not very clear to astronomers.

The problem is with regards to the fact that you cannot see it if you’re not paying attention close enough. These events are as fast as radio bursts. In just a few thousandths of a second, these explosions can produce as much energy as the sun does in about a century. Scientists have known of these radio bursts (FRB) since 2007, and they still don’t have a clear explanation when it comes to them.

Kenzie Nimmo, the doctoral student at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, stated that “The big question is what can produce an FRB.”

Back in 2016, scientists received help, when they discovered that an FRB repeated its quick-pulsing radio tune in random bursts. All of the examples they had up until now had been regular events. This repeating FBR was found eventually – they came from a dwarf galaxy, that had a high rate of star formation, that’s found 3 billion light-years away. This galaxy has a persistent radio source, probably even a nebula, which could actually explain the origin of the FRB.

Scientists were also able to find that three non-repeating FRBs came from huge galaxies, which had little star formation going on. This suggested that repeating and non-repeating FRBs happened from different types of situations and environments. Things are not as simple as they seem to be.

A repeating FRB was also discovered by CHIME observatory – the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, and it is called FRB 180916.J0158+65. Scientists were able to track its location with the help of a network of telescopes in Europe.

 

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