Scientists Uncovered Mysterious Radio Impulses from the Cosmos

World | January 11, 2018, Thursday // 10:20
Bulgaria: Scientists Uncovered Mysterious Radio Impulses from the Cosmos

Scientists unraveled the origin of one of the most mysterious phenomena in the universe, reports Nova TV. It's about fast radio bursts (FRBs), an intense radio wave, which lasts only milliseconds. Up to now, only 24 similar signals have been recorded, and a single one, referred to as FRB 121102, has repeated.

It is precisely the repetition that allowed astronomers to study the phenomenon. They have certainly been able to locate his origin in the dwarf galaxy at 3 billion light-years from Earth. Researchers have also found that signals are most likely coming from a neutron star.

According to a publication in Nature magazine, FRB 121102 is induced by a neutron star surrounded by a strong magnetic field. Researchers suggest that this field is probably created either by a massive black hole or a magnetic wind in a nebula or a supernova residue, Nova TV adds.

This hypothesis was imposed after observations suggesting that radio broadcasts were polarized due to the magnetic field. Magnetic fields can distort light radiation and the stronger the field, the stronger the distortion.

"The only known sources in the Milky Way that distort FRB 121102 are at the center of the galaxy, which is a dynamic region near a massive black hole. Perhaps the FRB 121102 is in the same environment in its galaxy, "says lead investigator Daniel Micile of ASTRON. "So distortion of radio pulses can also be explained if the source is located in a large nebula or close to a supernova residue."

This new theory was published after combining observations from the Arebico Observatory and those at very high frequencies from the Breakthrough Listen project at the Green Bank Telescope.

"The properties and shape of these impulses are similar to the radio broadcasting of young neutron stars in our galaxy," said Andrew Seymour, another lead researcher at the Arecibo Observatory. "This supports the pattern that radio-pulses are produced by a neutron star."

The team will continue their observations on the FRB 121102 in an attempt to determine which of the two scenarios is most likely - the black hole or the magnetic wind in the nebula, says New TV.

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