The rapid radio bursts – mysterious, vigorous explosions coming from elsewhere in the universe – are “deeper” than we thought, according to a new study.
Researchers have been searching for the source of the signals for years, the first of which was discovered more than a decade ago, but scientists are still wondering what could be causing them.
While searching for the answer, they both found more of the outbreaks or FRBs, as well as gathering more and more details about those that have already been found.
Fast radio bursts last about a millisecond, but collect as much energy as the sun emits in three days. The source of such powerful explosions remains unknown: speculation points to everything from black holes to alien civilizations, but they are likely to be the result of collapsing stars.
Researchers have now found that radio signals come to us at lower frequencies than we previously realized, according to a new study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The discovery not only helps provide new details about the mysterious explosions, but can help with ongoing work to find out exactly where they may be coming from.
“We found fast radio bursts up to 1
“This tells us that the area around the source of the outbreak should be transparent to low-frequency emissions, while some theories suggest that all low-frequency emissions will be absorbed immediately and will never be detected.”
The new study looked at a source of FRB, discovered in 2018. Called FRB 20180916B, it is of particular interest to scientists because it is relatively close and signals come from it at regular and predictable intervals.
In the new study, the source was examined with the CHIME radio telescope that first discovered it, as well as with the LOFAR or Low Frequency Array radio telescope in the Netherlands.
By combining the strength of both, the researchers were able to find that radio signals come at lower frequencies, but also identified a constant delay in their arrival: higher frequencies will be taken by CHEIM, and lower ones will be noticed by LOFAR three days later.
“This systematic delay precludes explanations for periodic activity that do not allow frequency dependence, and thus brings us a few steps closer to understanding the origins of these mysterious outbursts,” said co-author Daniele Micili, also a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics at McGill. .