Will the secrets of fast radio bursts soon be revealed? – Future

Since their discovery about fifteen years ago, astronomers have repeatedly discovered destabilizing properties of so-called fast radio bursts. They still don’t know where they come from. But maybe they finally have a tool that could solve the mystery.

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[EN VIDÉO] Repeated fast radio bursts The origin of fast radio bursts – or fast radio bursts (FRBs) – remains mysterious. Some…

Since their discovery several years ago, what astronomers call fast radio bursts – or FRBs for fast radio bursts – have been fascinating. They correspond to short and intense flashes of radio waves from space. Most of them only appear once. But some repeat. And that adds a little to the mystery surrounding the origin of these rapid radio bursts.

A fast radio burst like no other

A team from the Seti Institute (USA) has examined one of these rapidly repeating radio bursts, FRB 20220912 A, in more detail. They report in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that they recorded no fewer than 35 occurrences of the fast radio burst during the approximately 540 hours of observation. Enough to lead researchers to call it “highly active.”

Astronomers at the Seti Institute explain that, like most repeating FRBs, FRB 20220912A’s bursts tended to drift from high to low frequencies. What they had never observed before, however, was a striking decline in the central frequency of outbreaks over the two months of observation. And no existing model of magnetars, neutron star collisions, or white dwarf mergers – the main candidates for producing fast radio bursts – can explain these properties.

More questions than answers about the secret of fast radio bursts

To further compound the mystery, the researchers report that no pattern could be found in the time between eruptions. However, they remain hopeful that the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), the instrument with which they conducted this work and which is capable of recording many frequency channels simultaneously, will help them obtain valuable data that will ultimately shed light Bringing darkness to the origin of FRBs.