phosphorusA powerful burst of radio waves from a distant dwarf galaxy has been detected using a telescope in China, bringing scientists one step closer to solving a “cosmic mystery” that has been lingering for years, Reuters reported.
Since its discovery in 2007, astronomers have been trying to understand what causes fast radio bursts, which involve pulses of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from within our own Milky Way and beyond. It is already known that radio waves have the longest wavelengths in the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
Astronomers suspect that these outbursts may be triggered by some extreme object — possibly a neutron star, or even a black hole capable of “absorbing” neighboring stars, among other possibilities.
On Wednesday, Reuters quoted researchers as saying they detected a fast burst of radio waves, also known as a “FRB,” from a dwarf galaxy nearly 3 billion light-years from Earth.
“FRB” was first discovered in 2019 with the FAST telescope in China’s Guizhou province, the largest radio telescope of its kind in the world, with a signal receiving area equivalent to 30 football fields. This phenomenon will be further studied later using the VLA radio telescope in New Mexico.
“We are still right to call the rapid burst of radio waves a cosmic mystery,” said Li Di, an astrophysicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, who was the lead investigator and co-author of the study published in the journal Nature. .
“The rapid burst of radio waves is flicker Caltech astronomer and study co-author Kathy Law added that the burst of radio light was strong and short enough to be seen from the universe. “The burst flashes in about a millisecond, much faster than the blink of an eye,” he added.
Dilly further noted that many hypotheses have been proposed to try to explain these explosions. “The abundance of models reflects our poor understanding of FRBs. Our work supports the idea that active repeaters are produced by extremely explosive events such as supernovae. These active repeaters are also young , because they are soon seen as birth events”, the scientists explained.
Astronomers suspect that these FRBs are “nascent,” still shrouded in the dense material left behind by the neutron star that blasted it into space. They also highlighted that repeated explosions may be a feature of young FRBs, which are expected to dissipate over time.
“FRBs are quickly becoming a great example of a puzzle in astrophysics, like gamma-ray bursts a few decades ago,” Law said. The researchers added: “We are learning more and more about this phenomenon, where the source lives, the frequency of bursts, etc. However, we will continue to pursue the ‘golden scale’ that will give us definitive answers to identify them cause.” .
According to Reuters, a discovery of this nature could help scientists determine the cause of these bursts of radio waves.
Also read: China launches another manned mission to Tiangong space station
Always be the first to know.
For the sixth year in a row, it won the Online News Consumer’s Choice Award and a 5-Star Award.
Download our free app.