The mystery of the universe of fast radio bursts deepens with active activity

Huge new datasets can quickly help unravel the mysteries of the universe Fast radio burst (FRB). Over the course of a few weeks, over 1,600 new signals were detected in one of the most well-studied Fed sources, essentially excluding key hypotheses about their origin.

In a truly scientific way, the name tells you everything you need to know – these signals are bursts of radio waves that are millisecond long, each more than the sun emits in a year. Carries a lot of energy.Some of them One-hit wonder ,another person Randomly repeat or Predictable schedule ..

But what exactly creates them remains a mystery. Black holes, supernovae, neutron stars, exotic particles, and of course aliens are all suggested as explanations, but the main candidates are magnetars, compact stars with incredibly strong magnetic fields. Smoking guns appear to have detected a recently ignited magnetar in our own galaxy. Suspicious Fed-like signal ..

But new research complicates the situation. Astronomers have used a 500-meter spherical radio telescope (FAST) in China to scrutinize one of the most famous Fed sources. FRB 121102 It was one of the most well-studied over the years, as it was the first repetitive signal discovered. But these new observations reveal that it is much more active than previously thought.

The team monitored the source for about 60 hours in 47 days in 2019 and detected an astonishing 1,652 bursts. This is a significant increase. Previously, since its discovery in 2012, only 347 bursts have been recorded from this source in total. Significantly expanding your dataset can unravel the Fed’s mysteries.

“This is the first time a single Fed source has been studied in such detail,” said Bing Zhang, the corresponding author of the study. “The large burst set has helped to refine the Fed’s characteristic energy and energy distribution like never before, which gives the engine a new light to power these mysterious phenomena. Can be guessed. “

The most active FRB121102 was detected and 122 bursts were generated within an hour. This is the highest repetition rate of any Fed source. The team states that this active activity could help determine one of two major models of how magnetars can repeatedly generate the Fed. The first hypothesis is that the signal originates from inside the star’s magnetic field, and the second hypothesis is that the signal is generated by repeated “impacts” on matter around the star.

“These results pose a major challenge to the latter model,” says Zhang. “Given that the bursts are so frequent that this episode alone reaches 3.8% of the energy available from the magnetar, there is too much energy for the second model to work.”

With so many data points at hand, the team checked all sorts of repeating patterns for bursts on a scale of 1 millisecond to 1,000 seconds. Nothing seemed to suggest that a single compact object like a magnetar was not the cause.

In a sense, it only deepens the mystery. However, it does not completely exclude magnetar as a Fed source. The signals that result from […]

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