|Manu||Date: Sunday, 10-May-2020, 9:28 AM | Message # 1|
|Posted by Andy Briggs in SPACE | May 4, 2020|
Fast Radio Bursts are very mysterious bursts of radio waves – perhaps just a thousandth of a second long – coming from all over the sky. This new discovery of one in our own galaxy is a stunner!
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are short, intense bursts of radio waves lasting perhaps a thousandth of a second, coming from all over the sky and of unknown origin. In a shock discovery that could help to solve one of astronomy’s greatest mysteries – on April 28, 2020 – astronomers used an Astronomer’s Telegram to announce a Fast Radio Burst originating from inside our Milky Way galaxy. That’s a first. All other FRBs have been extragalactic, that is to say outside our galaxy. Even more importantly, the astronomers think they’ve also identified the source of the burst.
Explanations have ranged from neutron stars to supernovae to the inevitable aliens.
FRBs were first detected in 2007. This new detection of an FRB is, in astronomical terms, very close to home. Astronomers found it using the CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) radio telescope in Canada, an instrument designed specifically to study phenomena such as FRBs in order to answer major questions in astrophysics. This particular telescope has greatly increased the bursts’ detection rate since its first light in September 2017.
At the time of the April 28 signal, the telescope was not pointing straight at the source. But the signal was so strong the telescope captured it, so to speak, out of the corner of its eye. The signal was of sufficient strength to be detected from another galaxy (indicating it is the same phenomenon as those earlier extragalactic bursts detected from our galaxy), and it had the typical duration of a Fast Radio Burst.
The day before, on April 27, 2020, the Swift Burst Alert Telescope had detected a series of gamma-ray bursts originating from the same point in the sky as the FRB. Those gamma rays are associated with a known object, labeled SGR 1935+2154, a so-called Soft Gamma Repeater. This object is a type of stellar remnant known for periodically generating bursts of gamma rays. The distance to this object has been estimated at about 30,000 light-years. For comparison, the Milky Way galaxy is over 150,000 light-years across.
Read more/full article/source - https://earthsky.org/space/fast-radio-burst-detected-within-milky-way