A bizarre radio signal was detected in space, like a "heartbeat"

Credit image: public domain
Credit image: public domain

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 14 July 2022, at 02:21 am Los Angeles time

A new radio signal from outer space is testing our understanding of these mysterious phenomena.

Not only is this new fast radio explosion, called FRB 20191221A, another extremely rare signal, but it's not even that fast: the radio waves received in intergalactic space last three seconds, about 1,000 times longer than average.

However, explosions of higher intensity radiation occur every 0.2 seconds in this three-second window - something that has never been seen before in a rapid radio explosion.

Scientists knew immediately that they had encountered something very strange: "Not only was it very long, lasting about three seconds but there were periodic peaks that were remarkably accurate, emitting a sound like a fraction of a second, heartbeat. It is for the first time when the signal itself is periodic ", the specialists transmitted.

Rapid radio explosions are one of today's most fascinating cosmic mysteries. These are extremely powerful bursts of radiation at radio wavelengths that erupt from intergalactic space in a very short time - usually lasting milliseconds. In this short time, the explosion emits an amount of energy 500 million times greater than that of the Sun.

Most fast radio explosions occur only once, they are impossible to predict, and to detect one we just have to hope that it occurs when we have a radio telescope pointed in the right direction.

Much less often, repeated signals are received from a single point in the sky. These are repeated fast radio explosions and can vary in intensity, wavelength, polarization, and dispersion. A rapid radio explosion has a significant clue: in 2020, for the first time, a rapid radio explosion was detected from inside the Milky Way. This has been traced back to a type of neutron star called a magnet, suggesting that these very dense, strongly magnetized objects could be responsible for at least some fast radio waves.

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