A peculiar signal of sorts was found coming from the Milky Way. What could it be?


On April 28, 2020, two ground-based radio telescopes detected strong radio wave pulses. It only lasted a millisecond, but for shocked astronomers, it was an important discovery because it represented the first detection of a fast radio burst (FRB) so close to the earth. The event is only 30,000 light-years away from our planet, firmly in the Milky Way galaxy, and it is almost impossible to miss it for whatever purpose and purpose. 

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) and Transient Radio Astronomy Emissions Research 2 (STARE2) have unquestionably detected it. Kiyoshi Masui, assistant professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: “CHIME doesn’t even look in the right direction. We still see it loud and clear in our peripheral vision.” A radio antenna made of a cake pan.” Before that, all FRBs were observed outside our galaxy. “They are billions of light-years apart, which makes studying them more difficult,” said Pragya Chawla, a Ph.D. student in physics at McGill University in Canada. 


The April 2020 discovery is also notable for being the highest-energy radio explosion ever recorded by astronomers in the Milky Way, but what’s even more exciting is that scientists are now closer than at any time since they were discovered. To determine the origin of FRB. 

That happened in 2007 when Duncan Lorimer and David Narkevic were studying data collected by the Australian Parkes satellite antenna. Since then, astronomers have been hoping to find FRBs so close to home. “We can learn more from sources 30,000 light-years away than from sources 1 billion light-years or more,” Masui said. “We finally have nearby resources to study.” 

One of the main problems with detecting FRBs is that they are very short-lived, except that most of them are already far away. Although one hundred million times stronger than the sun, they disappeared in the blink of an eye; they can release as much energy as the sun for 100 years in a few thousandths of a second. Ideally, astronomers will spot an object and focus one or more different telescopes on it, but the fleeting nature of these explosions eliminates any such opportunities. 

However, despite these challenges, astronomers have managed to accumulate a large amount of knowledge about FRB, most of which is based on dozens of events recorded outside our galaxy. First, we know that they are bright flashes of radio light lasting from microseconds to milliseconds.

“All-day searches also showed that thousands of such explosions occur in the sky every day,” Jora added. We also know that most of them are from billions of light-years away. However, although dozens of models have been proposed to explain the origin of FRB, and its ancestors range from neutron stars to white dwarfs to cosmic strings, does any theory prevail? “Well, we know they come from very small sources, no more than a few hundred kilometers in size,” Masui said. “The most likely source is neutron stars because they are very small and have a lot of energy.” 

The FRB found in the Milky Way is now helping astronomers to reiterate these theories, and because of the clever cosmic exploration work involving data from other telescopes, it has become The breakthrough of scientists trying to reach it. Evidence now shows that the origin of FRB is likely to be a magnetar, a young neutron star born from the embers of a supernova. Its magnetic field strength is 5,000 trillion times that of the Earth, making them the most powerful magnets in the universe.


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