Scientists Have A New Theory To Explain Fast Radio Bursts From Space

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are incredibly intense radio wave flashes that last for a fraction of a second. FRBs are among the most unexplained occurrences in the cosmos. Unlike more chaotic cosmic explosions, these bursts form a laser-like beam and can discharge as much energy as the sun does in a year.
For more than ten years, the nature and source of these cryptic signals have baffled scientists. The majority of FRBs found thus far have originated from far-off galaxies, making it challenging to determine their precise origin and cause. But in a significant finding in 2020, scientists identified the first FRB from within our Milky Way galaxy and linked it to a particular kind of dead star known as a magnetar.

The remains of a huge star that burst into a supernova are known as magnetars. It has a strong magnetic field, is roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) broad, and is incredibly thick. It also rotates quickly—roughly 3.2 times per second—and occasionally has glitches, which are abrupt variations in rotation speed.
Another FRB was detected in October 2022 by the NASA X-ray telescopes NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) in low Earth orbit and NICER (Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer) on the International Space Station. The magnetar is known as SGR 1935+2154. These telescopes gave a unique picture of what was happening on the magnetar’s surface and in its surroundings by watching it for hours before and after the FRB.

The findings, which were published in the journal Nature, demonstrate that the FRB happened when the magnetar abruptly accelerated and decelerated in between two glitches. The fact that the magnetar slowed to less than its pre-glitch speed in nine hours—roughly 100 times quicker than has ever been seen in a magnetar—surprised the researchers.
Studying these mysterious events in detail is made possible by the unique ability to observe the FRB from SGR 1935+2154. Additionally, it shows how NASA telescopes can cooperate to monitor transient cosmic phenomena.
A new window into the mechanics of these cosmic riddles has been provided by the finding of the FRB from SGR 1935+2154. It has also demonstrated the capability of NASA’s X-ray telescopes to observe and analyze these transient phenomena.

Scientists aim to get more insight into the harsh circumstances that give birth to these enigmatic radio flashes and solve their mystery by merging observations from various equipment and wavelengths.

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