NASA Has Found New Clues About Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts From Space

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are really strong bursts of radio waves that happen in space. While they are only able to last for a very short time in which you’ll hardly be able to blink your eye, they are able to release huge amounts of energy.

Amazingly, even in this short duration the massive amount of energy released is equivalent to the energy given out by the Sun in a complete year. They differ greatly from other space explosions because they’re more focused in a single beam resembling a laser beam.

Since most of these come from very far away galaxies it is relatively very hard to figure out their exact origin and the reason for their occurrence. This is the reason why this phenomenon has scientists puzzled and perplexed for over ten years keeping them in a state of dire confusion and questioning.

Finally, in 2020 however, astronomers found out the first FBR which was surprisingly coming from our very own Milky Way Galaxy. Upon further working, they had further traced it back to a special kind of dead start known as magnetar.

A magnetar is the leftover bit of a big star that blew up. It’s really small but super dense, with a powerful magnetic field. It spins really fast, like a spinning top, and sometimes it has sudden changes in its spinning speed, called glitches.

In October 2022, one of these magnetars, called SGR 1935+2154, gave off another FRB. NASA had special telescopes called NICER and NuSTAR watching it from space. They saw that the FRB happened while the magnetar was having one of its glitches. It’s like the magnetar suddenly sped up and then slowed down, and in just nine hours, it slowed down a lot faster than usual.

Scientists were surprised because usually when these glitches happen, it takes the magnetar a long time to go back to normal. But this time, it happened really quickly. This made scientists think that maybe these fast changes are connected to how the radio bursts are made.

The telescopes also saw that before the FRB, the magnetar was giving off a lot of X-rays and gamma rays. These are kinds of light that are more powerful than regular light. This could mean that something was changing inside the magnetar, like its shape or its magnetic field.

Scientists think that what’s happening inside the magnetar might be important for making these radio bursts. They believe that maybe the outer layer of the magnetar is moving differently from the inside part, and that could be causing the bursts.

This finding is very unique and exciting for scientists all over the world since it helps them to understand and learn more about the strange radio burst coming from the unknown. But with still a lot left to learn and discover, scientists hope that by using various telescopes and exploring different things in space, they can solve the mystery of why these burst take place one day.

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