Tags: fast radio bursts | track | dwarf | galaxy

Fast Radio Bursts Tracked With New Tech to Dwarf Galaxy

Image: Fast Radio Bursts Tracked With New Tech to Dwarf Galaxy

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By    |   Thursday, 05 Jan 2017 10:20 AM

Fast radio bursts that were detected from outside the Milky Way nearly 10 years ago have now been analyzed and connected to a dwarf galaxy more than three billion light years from Earth.

With high-speed data recording and real-time data analysis software developed by astronomer Casey Law, the Very Large Array in New Mexico detected a total of nine bursts over a period of a month, said a news release from the University of California, Berkeley.

Larger European and American radio interferometer arrays pinpointed the bursts to within one-hundredth of an arcsecond, within a region about 100 light years in diameter.

Law said the starting point of a fast radio burst from the dwarf galaxy implies a connection to other energetic events happening in similar dwarf galaxies.

Law and other astronomers presented their findings on Wednesday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas. Their work also appeared in the scientific journal Nature and companion papers in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Fast radio bursts are highly energetic but last just a few thousandths of a second, noted USA Today. Since 2007, 18 of these bursts have been recorded by telescopes around the world.

One of those bursts, discovered in November 2012 at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, has repeated numerous times.

"There is still a lot of work to do to unravel the mystery surrounding fast radio bursts," said Victoria Kaspi, a physics professor from Canada's McGill University and a senior member of the international team that conducted the research.

"But identifying the host galaxy for this repeating fast radio burst marks a big step toward solving the puzzle," said Kaspi, per USA Today.

Theories around what causes the fast radio bursts have ranged from a supernova explosion or a signal sent from around a supermassive black hole at the heart of a bright galaxy, noted the Los Angeles Times.

"There are literally more theories for what FRBs are than there are detected examples of FRBs," said Shami Chatterjee, an astronomer at Cornell University and leader of the Nature paper. "It's been a paradise for theorists; they've come up with all sorts of ways that you could produce these kinds of radio flashes."

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Fast radio bursts that were detected from outside the Milky Way nearly 10 years ago have now been analyzed and connected to a dwarf galaxy more than three billion light years from Earth.
fast radio bursts, track, dwarf, galaxy
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2017-20-05
Thursday, 05 Jan 2017 10:20 AM
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