Astronomers locate mysterious fast radio burst three billion light years away

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Mysterious fast radio burst

Fast radio bursts (FRBs), one of the universe biggest science mysteries is getting closer to solve. The radio bursts emit energy in a millisecond that ranges more than the sun emits throughout a day. While, astronomers detect radio waves from a mysterious fast radio burst, FRB 121102 that locate near a large black hole.

Fast radio bursts are very powerful, but they are also very short, enduring just milliseconds. FRB 121102 first shown up in 2012. Mostly, fast radio bursts occur once, but FRB 121102 would go on repeat. Researchers find the radio signals in dwarf galaxy more than 3 billion light-years from earth.

FRB 121102 radio burst

Using scientific data from the Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Telescope, the researchers shown that the FRB 121102 radio burst is highly polarize. When the waves pass through a magnetic field, the polarization gets twisted by an effect known as Faraday rotation. While, these radio signals pass through a very intense magnetic field.

“The only known sources in our galaxy that are twisted as much as FRB 121102 are in the Galactic Centre, which is a dynamic region near a massive black hole. Maybe FRB 121102 is in a similar environment in its host galaxy,” said, Daniele Michilli from University of Amsterdam and ASTRON.

To find the twisting, researchers explain that the radio waves from the mysterious fast radio burst are very close to a neutron star inside a powerful nebula or supernova remnant.

Neutron stars are very small they emit radio pulses as they spin. The Magnetar neutron star has a strong magnetic field, and delivers bursts like how the sun produces flares.

The researchers believe that the source is a regular neutron star, and are hoping to find out more. We are continuing to monitor how the properties of the bursts change with time, said, Jason Hessels from the University of Amsterdam and ASTRON.

These observations distinguish between the two competing hypotheses of a neutron star either near a black hole or embedded in a powerful nebula.

According to researchers, they don’t observe other fast radio bursts because they don’t repeat. FRB 121102 is the only repeater it is unique in its source, and the others emerge from different sources.