Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Universe Today (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

One Type of Fast Radio Bursts… Solved?

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Every now and then there is a burst of radio light in the sky. It lasts for just milliseconds before fading. It’s known as a Fast Radio Burst (FRB), and they are difficult to observe and study. We know they are powerful bursts of energy, but we aren’t entirely sure what causes them.

The more we’ve learned about FRBs, the stranger they appear. Most occur outside our galaxy, but there are a few that seem to originate within the Milky Way. Most seem to appear at random in the sky, but a few of them are repeating FRBs. Some of them even repeat with surprising regularity. Because of this, astronomers generally think they can’t be caused by a cataclysmic event, such as the last radio burst of a neutron star as it collapses into a black hole.

One likely candidate is a special kind of neutron star known as a magnetar. Neutron stars generally have strong magnetic fields, but magnetars take this to the extreme. Their magnetic fields can be a thousand times more powerful than that of a typical neutron star. Their fields are so powerful that they can heat the surface of a magnetar to more than 10 million Kelvin.

FRBs could be caused by magnetic bursts of a neutron star. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger

Magnetars are magnetically and thermally active, so they can have upwellings of hot material and magnetically charged flares. It’s similar to the surface activity of our Sun, but at a much more powerful level. When a magnetar has a flare, it can create a burst of intense x-rays and gamma rays. These stars are known to be the source of soft gamma ray repeaters, for example. Since a flare of ionized gas can create radio light when it interacts with a magnetic field, it’s thought that magnetars could also create fast radio bursts.

Recently, a team found evidence to support this idea. About 30,000 light years from Earth there is a magnetar known as SGR J1935+2154. In mid-April of 2020, it entered an active period, so the team decided to observe it with the Insight-HXMT satellite. They observed hundreds of x-ray bursts from the magnetar. Then on April 28, the CHIME radio telescope observed the fast radio burst FRB 200428, which had the same location and distance as the magnetar. The FRB occurred just 8.6 seconds after the team observed an x-ray burst. This time delay is consistent with the fact that the interstellar medium slightly slows radio signals.

From this study it is clear that magnetars are a source of fast radio bursts. We still aren’t clear if magnetars are the source of all FRBs, particularly those that don’t repeat. But since SGR J1935+2154 is relatively close and regularly goes through active periods, we should be able to observe many more FRBs from it over time. It should give us the data we need to understand these strange radio signals.

Reference: Li, C. K., et al. “HXMT identification of a non-thermal X-ray burst from SGR J1935+ 2154 and with FRB 200428.” Nature Astronomy (2021): 1-7.

The post One Type of Fast Radio Bursts… Solved? appeared first on Universe Today.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.