Astronomers trace mysterious cosmic radio waves to sources within our galaxy.

Astronomers trace mysterious cosmic radio waves to sources within our galaxy.

In April, a group of astronomers discovered a short, powerful radio wave from space and successfully discovered where it came from. It is a powerful object in our galaxy. This is the first time that scientists have been able to pinpoint this mysterious radio wave coming from inside the Milky Way, creating a full wave closest to what we have seen so far.

Radio waves known as fast radio bursts or FRBs seem to sprout from incredibly powerful “zombie” stars hiding in our galaxy. According to three papers published in the journal nature. Called a neutron star, this object is a very dense remnant that forms when a giant star larger than our Sun collapses on its own. However, this neutron star is what is known as magnetism. It has an incredibly strong magnetic field that stores huge amounts of energy that can distort the shape of an atom.

Tracking the origin of this FRB is a big moment for astronomers trying to figure out how this mysterious radio flash was created. FRB appears once a second in the night sky and is thought to burn for a few milliseconds at a time. But we’ve only seen a small fraction of this phenomenon. have Some appear to have originated outside the galaxy, located billions of light-years away. That made it difficult to figure out exactly where they came from. “They are very mysterious signals, and we don’t have a really good idea about what generates them and what physics behind them,” says Kiyoshi Masui, assistant professor of physics at MIT who was involved in the discovery. The Verge.

Now this discovery has given astronomers a much closer source to work with. The magneta are cosmically only 30,000 light-years away from our backyard. And this points to a solid connection between magnetism and these dynamic space propagation. “This is the missing link,” says Masui. “Now we have seen fast radio bursts from magneta, so it proves that at least some of the fast radio bursts we see in space come from magneta.”

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Scientists have been trying to find out the origin of FRB since the first FRB was discovered in 2007. However, the FRB is so fleeting that finding it required a combination of the right equipment and the right place at the right time. Astronomers were lucky when they found a few FRBs that seemed to repeat in the same part of the sky. Such a repetitive burst Scientists have helped find galaxies where these radio waves occur.. Still unclear Exactly what object It is producing FRB inside this galaxy.

This is why this discovery is so important. Two other astronomical observatories in North America (Chimme Canada and STARE2 in the United States) have enhanced the reliability of the signal by discovering that this FRB is coming from the same part of the sky. FRB was also surprisingly bright. In fact, a regular mobile phone 4G LTE receiver could have picked up signals coming from the middle of the galaxy, according to Christopher Bochenek, Caltech’s graduate student of astronomy who led the STARE2 discovery team.

“When I first saw the data, I was frozen and basically paralyzed with excitement,” Bochenek told a press conference.

The timing and location of the flash were aligned with another cosmic event happening nearby. A few days before the FRB was detected, astronomers discovered that a known magnetic force was very overactive in the sky, emitting X-rays and gamma rays. After analyzing the data from the FRB, astronomers from CHIME and STARE2 confirmed that the radio wave coincided with a particularly large amount of X-ray explosions in Magneta. This discovery already waved in the astronomy community earlier this year. Scientific report on connections published online and Covered in the press. The researcher’s results are now reviewed by other scientists and are officially published in the journal. nature this week.

Magneta can make a very good origin story for many FRBs. Scientists suspected that this dead magnetic star could be behind a radio flash for a while, because it is full of energy and tends to emit various types of light over a fraction of a second. Hence, this discovery paints a picture that some and perhaps most of these events-given how common these events are in space-are magnetically rapid radio bursts from other galaxies. “Said Bochenek.

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However, astronomers are not yet proclaiming the mystery behind the released FRB. First of all, astronomers continued to monitor magnetism, trimming more X-rays and gamma rays, but the subsequent events did not coincide with significant radio bursts. Also, this burst was still relatively weak compared to the other FRBs we’ve seen. In fact, it is 1,000 times weaker than the weakest FRB found outside our galaxy. So the mechanism by which it works is not yet fully understood.

The good news is that there are some pretty good suspects that astronomers can investigate. Not only will they be able to continue to study this single magneta, but about 30 other known magneta will now attract a lot of attention. Astronomers can focus on finding FRBs in other galaxies suspected of having magneta. Then you can better understand if this event is a derivative or the last piece of the FRB puzzle.

“We still don’t know exactly how lucky we are,” Bochenek says. “This could be about once every five years. Or this can happen every year. But with more events we will be able to tell exactly how lucky we are.”

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