Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Scientists have detected radio pulses billions of light years away from Earth


The source of the signal is in a galaxy billions of light-years away from Earth (Getty).

Find out Scholars Astronomers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other astronomical research centers have detected a strange, steady radio signal from a distant galaxy flashing with surprising regularity. The signal is classified as a fast radio burst (FRB), a very strong burst of radio waves of unknown astrophysical origin, typically lasting a few milliseconds.

However, this new signal lasts up to three seconds, a thousand times longer than the average FRB, and is one of the longest-lasting signals ever. In this window, the team detected bursts of radio waves with a distinct periodic pattern every 0.2 seconds, similar to a heartbeat, according to their findings. study Published July 13 in the journal Nature.

Since the discovery of the first fast radio burst in 2007, hundreds of similar radio flashes have been observed across the universe, most recently by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, and most recently by radio telescopes measuring interferometry in the Four Large Parabolic Reflectors. CHIME continuously monitors the sky as Earth rotates, and is designed to capture radio waves emitted by hydrogen in the early stages of the universe’s life. The telescope is sensitive to fast radio bursts, and since it began observing the sky in 2018, it has detected Telescope Hundreds of fast radio bursts from different parts of the sky.

Most fast radio bursts observed so far are one-off, that is, ultra-bright bursts of radio waves that last a few milliseconds before flashing.

Researchers have finally discovered the first-ever fast radio burst that emits a regular pattern of radio waves, so it’s not a flash that fades away forever. This signal consists of four consecutive four-day random bursts, then repeated every 16 days. This 16-day cycle indicates the operation of the cycle system, although the actual radio burst signal was more random than the cycle.

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The researchers have named the signal observed in the study FRB 20191221A, and it is the longest-lived FRB with the clearest periodic pattern detected to date, as these bursts usually disappear and are not regular.

The source of the signal is in a galaxy billions of light years away from Earth. What exactly would this evidence be? Neutron stars, two types of neutron stars with more dense and faster-spinning cores than giant stars, remain a mystery, although astronomers suspect that the signal may be emitted by a radio pulsar or magnetar.

Daniel Michael, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research and lead author of the study, explains that periodic signals like this only come from a limited number of astronomical events. Examples we know in our galaxy are radio and magnetic pulsars, which spin and emit a beacon.

In a statement to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Michael says he believes the new signal could be a magnetar or a pulsar. The author hopes to find more periodic signals from this source, which can then be used as an astrophysical clock. The frequency of the pulses and how they change as the source moves away from Earth is used to measure the expansion rate of the universe.

Analyzing the pattern of detected radio bursts, Michael and colleagues found similarities with emissions from radio and magnetic pulsars in our galaxy. Radio pulsars are neutron stars that emit beams of radio waves and pulsate as the star rotates, while magnets produce uniform emission due to their intense magnetic fields. “The main difference between the new signal and radio emission from pulsars and magnetospheres in the galaxy is that the detected burst appears a million times brighter,” says the author.

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Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
"Professional coffee fan. Total beer nerd. Hardcore reader. Alcohol fanatic. Evil twitter buff. Friendly tv scholar."

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