Tags: FRB | star | astronomers

Repeating Radio Signals Detected From 3 Billion Light Years Away

Repeating Radio Signals Detected From 3 Billion Light Years Away
Lightning illuminates clouds in the distance as the Milky Way glows ( Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 June 2020 09:49 PM

Astronomers at a British observatory have discovered radio signals from a galaxy 3 billion light years away that have a repeating pattern, only the second time in history that has happened.

Researchers at the Jodrell Bank Observatory say the discovery “could imply that the powerful bursts are linked to the orbital motion of a massive star, a neutron star or a black hole,” the University of Manchester said in a release.

“Fast radio bursts,” or FRBs, last only thousandths of a second, but the one known as 121102, has a 157-day cyclical pattern of a series of bursts for 90 days followed by a silent period of 67 days.

"This is an exciting result as it is only the second system where we believe we see this modulation in burst activity,” said Kaustubh Rajwade of The University of Manchester who led the new research. “Detecting a periodicity provides an important constraint on the origin of the bursts and the activity cycles could argue against a precessing neutron star."

While FRBs have only been detected since 2007, the other one known to have a pattern was first seen in 2018 and comes from a galaxy 500 million light years away.

And while their origin is up for debate, one thing for certain is that they are not aliens trying to make contact, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The signals are a sign of energetic events that are on the extreme scale of the cosmos,” MIT Technology Review wrote earlier this year. “Even a highly intelligent species would be very unlikely to produce energies like this. And there is no detectable pattern so far that would suggest there’s a sentient hand at play.”

As for FRB 121102, the University of Manchester said it believes the signals are “like a wobbling top, of the magnetic axis of a highly magnetized neutron star but with current data scientists believe it may be hard to explain a 157-day precession period given the large magnetic fields expected in these stars.”

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Astronomers at a British observatory have discovered radio signals from a galaxy 3 billion light years away that have a repeating pattern, only the second time in history that has happened....
FRB, star, astronomers
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2020-49-09
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 09:49 PM
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