Astronomers finally know the cause of the fast radio burst

Astronomers finally know the cause of the fast radio burst

Researchers announced yesterday Is that they solved the question they’ve been nagging for over 10 years. Fast radio burst? As the name suggests, FRB contains sudden radio frequency radiation that lasts only a few microseconds. Astronomers did not even know that they existed until 2007, but they have since compiled hundreds of lists. Some come from sources that emit repeatedly, while others burst once and appear silent.

Obviously, you can generate this kind of sudden energy by destroying something. However, the existence of repeated sources suggests that at least some of them are created by objects that survive the event. It has come to focus on dense objects such as neutron stars and black holes, and a kind of neutron star called magneta looks very suspicious.

That doubt Scientists have proven it by watching magnetism in our galaxy emit FRB while simultaneously emitting high-energy gamma ray pulses. This doesn’t answer all of your questions, as I’m not sure how FRB is created or why only some of the gamma ray bursts coming out of this magneta are related to FRB. But confirmation will give us a chance to look more carefully at the extreme physics of Magneta as we try to understand what’s going on.

‘Magneta’ is not the latest superhero movie

Magneta is an extreme form of the neutron star, an already famous celestial body. They are the collapsed nuclei of giant stars, so dense that the atoms cease to exist, leaving a swirling mass of neutrons and protons. This mass is roughly equal to the mass of the Sun, but compacts into a sphere about 10 km in radius. Neutron stars are best known for powering pulsars, and they cause rapidly repeating radiation explosions due to the fact that this massive object can complete its rotation in a matter of milliseconds.

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Magneta is another type of extreme. They tend not to rotate quickly, but have a strong magnetic field. But we don’t know whether the magnetic field is inherited by a very magnetic parent star or by superconducting material that pops out of a neutron star. Whatever the source, these magnetic fields are about a trillion times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field. It is strong enough to distort the electron orbit of an atom, and it effectively removes the chemistry of any normal matter that somehow gets close to magnetism. The period of high magnetic field lasts only thousands of years before the magnetic field dissipates, but there are enough neutron stars around it to maintain a regular magnetic supply.

Their magnetic fields can accelerate particles or power high energy events through magnetic disturbances induced by mass movement within a neutron star. As a result, Magneta produced high-energy X-rays and low-energy gamma rays semi-regularly, giving it the name “soft gamma ray repeater” or SGR. Some of them have been identified within the Milky Way, including SGR 1935 + 2154.

At the end of April of this year, SGR 1935+2154 entered the active phase, sending many high-energy photon pulses captured by the Swift Observatory in Earth’s orbit. It was completely normal. What is not normal is that many radio stations have captured the FRB at exactly the same time.

Stars and chimes

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (Cime) was originally designed for a different reason, but is a large array of wireless antennas that proved to be good for detecting FRBs because they can constantly observe large stripes in the sky. Since SGR 1935 + 2154 was at the edge of the field of view, there was some uncertainty in the identification of the source, but the results clearly matched the association between FRB and gamma ray output.

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