Researchers say they have detected an unusual new radio signal from a distance galaxy.
The signal is known as a fast radio burst, or FRB. These signs pulses From radio waves that scientists say can come from places within our galaxy, the Milky Way or elsewhere.
The first FRB was discovered in 2007. Since then, hundreds of signals have been observed by large telescopes in different parts of the world.
Astronomers aren’t sure what causes FRBs. But they theorized that the signals could be produced by neutron stars. A neutron star is thought to form after the gravitational collapse of a larger star that explodes at the end of its life.
Researchers reporting on the latest FRB say it was unusual because the signal lasted much longer than others had observed. Most FRBs last a few milliseconds. But the new signal lasted for up to three seconds — about 1,000 timers — the team explained in a statement.
The new FRB was first observed in December 2019 by a radio telescope called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME. The telescope is located near the city of Calden in southwestern Canada. Several Canadian and American universities are supporting the project.
CHIME is designed to monitor radio waves emitted by hydrogen gas in distant galaxies. But telescope operators say it’s also good at picking up signals from FRBs.
Scientists say they believe the signal came from a distant galaxy several billion light years from Earth. A light year is the distance light travels in one year, about nine trillion kilometers.
The newly observed FRB was also unusual because it appeared to be repeating continuously, the researchers said. pattern, “Similar to a beating heart.” Most FRBs observed in the past generally lasted for a few milliseconds before disappearing.
Danielle Micheli is a Post-doctoral Candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He helped lead research at the university’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. He says there aren’t many things in the universe that give the kind of “periodic signals” that the telescope has observed.
This led the team to believe that the unusual FRB may have come from two types of neutron stars, a pulsar or magnetar. A pulsar is a rapidly rotating neutron star. A magnetar is a very powerful neutron star magnetic field. We think this new signal could be a magnetar or a pulsar SteroidsMichel said.
they conclusion About the source of the signal was based on data collected from pulsars and magnetospheres observed in our galaxy. However, the team noted that the unusual FRB appears to be a million times brighter than the one observed in the Milky Way. Scientists aren’t sure why the FRB is so much brighter.
The astronomers said the new signal is longer-lived and has a clearer periodic pattern than any FRBs observed before. They hope to capture additional notes for reference. This can help them better understand their source and learn more about the general nature of neutron stars.
“this is a statement It raises the question of what could be causing this extreme signal that we haven’t seen before, and how we can use this signal to study the universe.” “Future telescopes promise to detect thousands of FRBs per month, at which point we may find more of these periodic signals.”
I’m Brian Lynn.
Brian Lane wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reporting from MIT News, Nature
The words in this story
galaxy – n. A very large group of stars held together in the universe
to throb – n. A short increase in the amount of electricity, light, or sound
pattern – n. In a regular and recurring way something happens
conclusion – n. reasoned judgment
steroid – n. A drug used to treat injuries that some athletes use illegally to improve their performance in sports
reveal – Fifth. To discover or notice something
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