Science

5 fast radio bursts of unknown origin ‘pin’ the neighboring galaxy

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April 13, 2023 | 6:45 p.m.


Astronomers in the Netherlands have discovered five new fast radio bursts in the universe after upgrading their telescope to make it ‘one of the most powerful’ in the world.

These bursts of radio waves last just a fraction of a millisecond but are among the brightest outbursts in the universe, so powerful they can be seen by telescopes more than four billion light-years away, according to the study’s press release.

The team reported that three of the FBRs – one of which contains ten trillion times the amount of energy the world consumes in a year – had “skewered” our neighboring Triangle galaxy.

It’s unclear exactly where the FBRs come from – some scientists believe they are released by neutron stars while others hypothesize even more extraterrestrial origins – as their short-lived nature has made them difficult to identify. study closely, so far.

“We now have an instrument with both a very wide field of view and very sharp vision,” lead researcher Joeri van Leeuwen said in a statement. “And all this live. It’s new and exciting.

Astronomers have discovered five new fast radio bursts in the universe.
Jingchuan Yu, Beijing Planetarium
“We now have an instrument with both a very wide field of view and very sharp vision,” lead researcher Joeri van Leeuwen said in a statement.
ullstein bild via Getty Images

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, were made possible by a new supercomputer and improved receivers at their telescope at Westerbork.

“You can’t just go out and buy the complex electronics you need for this,” said system architect Eric Kooistra. “We designed most of the system ourselves, with a great team. This resulted in a state-of-the-art machine, one of the most powerful in the world.

With the latest technology, scientists hope that phenomena will become increasingly definable, as the new report demonstrates.

The results also allowed the researchers to determine the number of “invisible” electrons in the Triangle galaxy by observing how the burst of light is distorted as it travels through space, shed more light on the molecular makeup of the universe. .

It is unclear exactly where the FBRs come from – some scientists believe they are released by neutron stars while others hypothesize even more extraterrestrial origins.
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Astronomers have recorded a number of fast radio bursts since 2007, according to Space.com, following the advent of state-of-the-art telescopes.

In June 2021, it was announced that more than 500 fast radio bursts had been discovered by Canadian researchers over a 12-month period between 2018 and 2019, The Post previously reported.

In 2019, astrophysicists were able to locate the starting point of a fast radio burst for the first time, from a distant galaxy several billion light years away.




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