Detections of FRBs at low frequencies also provide a new clue to the astrophysical puzzle
A Canadian-led team of scientists has found the second repeating fast radio burst (FRB) ever recorded. FRBs are short bursts of radio waves coming from far outside our Milky Way galaxy. Scientists believe FRBs emanate from powerful astrophysical phenomena billions of light years away.
The discovery of the extragalactic signal is among the first, eagerly awaited results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), a revolutionary radio telescope inaugurated in late 2017 by a collaboration of scientists from the University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Toronto, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and the National Research Council of Canada.
In a resounding endorsement of the novel telescope’s capabilities, the repeating FRB was one of a total of 13 bursts detected over a period of just three weeks during the summer of 2018, while CHIME was in its pre-commissioning phase and running at only a fraction of its full capacity. Additional bursts from the repeating FRB were detected in following weeks by the telescope, which is located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.
Discovery of second repeating FRB suggests more exist
Of the more than 60 FRBs observed to date, repeating bursts from a single source had been found only once before – a discovery made by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 2015.
“Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB. Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there. And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles—where they’re from and what causes them,” said Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at UBC.
Before CHIME began to gather data, some scientists wondered if the range of radio frequencies the telescope had been designed to detect would be too low to pick up fast radio bursts. Most of the FRBs previously detected had been found at frequencies near 1400 MHz, well above the Canadian telescope’s range of 400 MHz to 800 MHz.
The CHIME team’s results – published January 9 in two papers in Nature and presented the same day at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle – settled these doubts, with the majority of the 13 bursts being recorded well down to the lowest frequencies in CHIME’s range. In some of the 13 cases, the signal at the lower end of the band was so bright that it seems likely other FRBs will be detected at frequencies even lower than CHIME’s minimum of 400 MHz.
FRB sources likely to be in ‘special places’ within galaxies
The majority of the 13 FRBs detected showed signs of “scattering,” a phenomenon that reveals information about the environment surrounding a source of radio waves. The amount of scattering observed by the CHIME team led them to conclude that the sources of FRBs are powerful astrophysical objects more likely to be in locations with special characteristics.
“That could mean in some sort of dense clump like a supernova remnant,” says team member Cherry Ng, an astronomer at the University of Toronto. “Or near the central black hole in a galaxy. But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see.”
A new clue to the puzzle
Ever since FRBs were first detected, scientists have been piecing together the signals’ observed characteristics to come up with models that might explain the sources of the mysterious bursts and provide some idea of the environments in which they occur. The detection by CHIME of FRBs at lower frequencies means some of these theories will need to be reconsidered.
“Whatever the source of these radio waves is, it’s interesting to see how wide a range of frequencies it can produce. There are some models where intrinsically the source can’t produce anything below a certain frequency,” says team member Arun Naidu of McGill University.
“[We now know] the sources can produce low-frequency radio waves and those low-frequency waves can escape their environment, and are not too scattered to be detected by the time they reach the Earth. That tells us something about the environments and the sources. We haven’t solved the problem, but it’s several more pieces in the puzzle,” says Tom Landecker, a CHIME team member from the National Research Council of Canada.
The Latest on: Repeating fast radio burst
[google_news title=”” keyword=”repeating fast radio burst” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Repeating fast radio burst
- NuSTAR and NICER observe same radio burst, provide...on February 19, 2024 at 4:00 pm
The radio burst observed by NICER and NuSTAR is called a “fast radio burst” and was detected by both telescopes just minutes before and minutes after the event occurred. The detection of the ...
- 2 NASA Telescopes Shed Light on Mysterious Fast Radio Burstson February 19, 2024 at 4:00 pm
That started to change in 2020 when astronomers identified the first repeating fast radio burst, dubbed FRB 121102. Soon after, we spotted a fast radio source in our own galaxy. For the first time ...
- Astronomers are figuring out what causes incredibly bright flashes in spaceon February 17, 2024 at 10:04 am
Known as fast radio bursts, these incredibly bright flashes of energy are thought to be related to dying stars called magnetars. Now, using two separate telescopes, astronomers have observed one ...
- Items tagged with fast radio burston February 15, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Researchers using two of NASA’s X-ray telescopes may be well on their way to possibly cracking a cosmic puzzle surrounding mysterious bursts of radio waves. The observations used for the new ...
- Another clue into the true nature of fast radio burstson February 15, 2024 at 4:00 pm
More information: Chin-Ping Hu et al, Rapid spin changes around a magnetar fast radio burst, arXiv (2024). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2402.09291 Provided by Universe Today ...
- NASA Finds New Clue Into Origin of Mysterious Deep Space Signalson February 15, 2024 at 7:29 am
The reason for a strange burst of radio waves that came from deep space may have become closer to being revealed, according to new NASA research. These fast radio bursts can release as much energy ...
- Measuring distances in the universe with fast radio burstson February 12, 2024 at 4:00 pm
They appear somewhat at random, and we still aren't sure what they are. We call them fast radio bursts (FRBs). Right now the leading theory is that they are caused by highly magnetic neutron stars ...
- Scientists trace unusual fast radio burst to ‘blob' of dwarf galaxieson January 21, 2024 at 4:00 pm
While some repeat and others disappear quickly into the cosmic night, astronomers still can't quite pin down what causesContinue reading "Scientists trace unusual fast radio burst to ‘blob’ of ...
- Mysterious radio burst came from group of galaxies in distant universeon January 9, 2024 at 1:49 pm
The discovery expands our understanding of the way in which the mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs ... Some of the events repeat and have been detected flashing multiple times.
- Todos os artigos de Fast radio burstson October 18, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Massive flashes of energy known as ‘fast radio bursts’ have puzzled astronomers for years – and a new search for links to gravitational waves has so far found no connection. One of the few ...
via Bing News