FAST RADIO BURSTS
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- A fast radio burst that occurred when the universe was just 5 billion years old was detected in 2022.
About Fast Radio Bursts
- Mysterious emissions of radio light, known as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), originate from distant corners of the universe.
- These bursts, arriving from faraway galaxies, release an amount of energy in one millisecond equivalent to what the sun emits over several weeks.
- FRBs represent the most intense natural radio bursts observed. Although astrophysicists have briefly detected FRBs using expansive radio telescopes, the exact origins and triggers of these phenomena remain unknown.
- Some FRBs occur as singular, isolated events, while others exhibit a repetitive pattern, intermittently illuminating Earth.
More about the news
- Scientists have traced the origin of the farthest and most powerful fast radio burst (FRB) to a group of at least seven galaxies that appear to be merging.
- Such groups of galaxies are rare and possibly led to conditions that triggered the FRB.
- Astronomers led by Northwestern University presented the findings at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- FRBs, emitted by extragalactic sources, are transient flashes of radio waves that typically last a few milliseconds.
- The energy generated in a quick burst is more than what the sun emits in an entire year.
- The most powerful and distant FRB was first detected in 2022 by the ASKAP radio telescope in Australia. The burst occurred when the universe was just 5 billion years old.
- The sources of FRB are mysterious but researchers speculate that they could be coming from a compact object such as a black hole or neutron star.
- The researchers relied on images from the Hubble Space Telescope to trace the origin of the 2022 FRB, officially known as FRB 20220610A.
- Previously, scientists thought that FRB 20220610A originated near an amorphous blob. This, they speculated, could be coming from a single, irregular galaxy or a group of three distant galaxies.
- But Hubble’s images indicate that the blob might be as many as seven galaxies that are so close that they could all fit inside our own Milky Way galaxy.
- This interaction could trigger bursts of star formation, Gordon explained. “That might indicate that the progenitor of FRB 20220610A is associated with a fairly recent population of stars, which matches what we’ve learned from other FRBs,” the expert added.
- Researchers are interested in distant FRBs as they are key to accurately measuring the missing matter of the universe.
Discuss the significance of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) in astrophysics, addressing their mysterious nature, the challenges in studying them, and the potential insights they offer into the understanding of the universe.