Thanks to a strange discovery involving a recurring Fast Radio Burst (FRB), scientists are keen to unravel the secrets of mysterious deep space signals. Imagine a flash of radio light, brighter than a billion suns and lasting a millisecond. That’s an FRB, and they usually come from beyond our Milky Way Galaxy. Most are one-off events, but some “repeaters” emit multiple bursts that leave scientists scratching their heads about their origins.
A recent study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society The mystery box was opened wide. They found that the most active repeating FRB behaved in a completely unprecedented way. This cosmic dialog box explodes with a strange “sliding whistle” effect, signaling something new and exciting in the realm of deep space phenomena.
Although the exact cause of FRBs remains a mystery, this new discovery is an important step in understanding these enigmatic celestial objects. It’s like discovering a new word in an alien language, providing a wonderful clue to a new conversation with the universe.
According to cnn, Astronomers were trying to determine if there was a pattern in the times between each burst, similar to some other known fast radio bursts. But researchers couldn’t find one for FRB 20220912A, suggesting that celestial events are also unpredictable.
“This work is exciting because it provides both confirmation of known FRB properties and the discovery of some new ones,” said lead study author Dr. Sophia Sheikh, a National Science Foundation MPS-Ascend Postdoctoral Fellow at the SETI Institute.
What are fast radio bursts?
According to Space.com, Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are intense bursts of radio waves that emit as much energy as the Sun emits over three days—but in a thousandth of a second. There are many mysteries in these events.
FRBs come from all parts of the sky and have frequencies around 1,400 Hz, although some have been detected with frequencies between 400 and 800 Hz. Some scientists estimate that 10,000 FRBs can occur at random points in the sky over Earth every day. However, most FRBs last only milliseconds, and by the time their energy reaches Earth, it is 1,000 times weaker than a mobile phone signal emitted from the Moon and detected on Earth. Because these signals are so weak and brief, FRBs are incredibly difficult to detect.