For the second time ever, astronomers have detected a pattern in a mysterious fast radio burst coming from space.
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are millisecond-long bursts of radio waves in space, and astronomers have been able to trace some radio bursts back to their home galaxies.
They have yet to determine the actual cause of the bursts.
Individual radio bursts emit once and don’t repeat. But repeating fast radio bursts are known to send out short, energetic radio waves multiple times.
Previous observations showed that usually when they repeat, it’s sporadic or in a cluster.
That all changed earlier this year when astronomers found that FRB 180916.J0158+65 had a pattern in bursts occurring every 16.35 days. Over the course of four days, the signal would release a burst or two each hour. Then, it would go silent for another 12 days.
Now, they have detected a pattern in asecond repeating fast radio burst, known as FRB 121102. During this cyclical pattern, radio bursts are emitted during a 90-day window, followed by a silent period of 67 days. This pattern repeats every 157 days.
FRB 121102 has been known as a repeating fast radio burst since 2016. Now, they know it has a pattern.
“Until now, only one other repeating FRB was known to show such a pattern in its bursting activity,” said Kaustubh Rajwade, lead study author and postdoctoral researcher in astronomy at the University of Manchester, in an email. “Finding such a pattern reveals important clues as to what could [be] the progenitor of FRBs. A periodicity tell us that the object that is producing FRBs is probably in an orbit with another astrophysical body.”
The study published Sunday in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
FRB 121102 was the first repeating fast radio burst to be traced back to its source, linked back to a small dwarf galaxy more than 3 billion light-years away in 2017.
The fact that this repeating fast radio burst pattern is at least 10 times longer than the one repeating every 16.4 days shows the potential large range for such activity, the researchers said.
WHAT’S BEHIND THE BURST PATTERN?
So what could be the cause of FRB 121102’s extended pattern? Researchers believed these powerful bursts could be due to the orbit of a massive star, a black hole or a dense neutron star.
One potential explanation for repeating fast radio bursts has been the precession, or wobbling top motion, of a highly magnetized neutron star’s axis. But that may not explain what astronomers are seeing for this particular burst because it lasts so long, the researchers said. That model may be more suited to bursts that repeat over a few weeks.
Moving forward, the researchers want to find other repeating fast radio bursts, determine if they also have patterns and see if these two represent the range of patterns. They also want to observe FRB 121102 more and see if the patterns change over time.
“Answering these questions will take us closer to the true source of FRBs,” Rajwade said.
The burst pattern in this study was detected while using the Lovell Telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in the United Kingdom over four years. The telescope is sensitive to faint radio signals and capable of regularly monitoring repeating fast radio bursts that have already been identified.
Fast radio bursts were only discovered in 2007, followed by the discovery that some of them can repeat in 2016. Now, researchers know they can have patterns as well.
“This exciting discovery highlights how little we know about the origin of FRBs,” said Duncan Lorimer, study coauthor, associate dean for research and professor of physics and astronomy at West Virginia University. “Further observations of a larger number of FRBs will be needed in order to obtain a clearer picture about these periodic sources and elucidate their origin.”
I just hope its Aliens, bring it on 2020!
The Divine Moon
A Solar Eclipse AND A New Moon TODAY June 10 — Here’s What That Means for You… A chaotic eclipse in the middle of Mercury retrograde, oh my! On Thursday, June 10, there is a solar eclipse in Gemini. There’s no nice way to say this, star seekers, but the mood will be chaotic. In case … Continue reading A Solar Eclipse AND A New Moon TODAY June 10 — Here’s What That Means for You…
A Lunar Haircut – What Is It & How To Since ancient times the lunar calendar has been used to plan many events in a persons life, including haircuts. The phases of the moon, lunar days and the position of the moon in the constellation affect the health and growth of hair, as well as … Continue reading A Lunar Haircut – What Is It & How To
Nothing beats the summer heat like a tall glass of ice cold Lavender Lemonade or any drink made with Lilac Syrup! Not only will you love the refreshingly delicious taste they have to offer, but you may find yourself more relaxed since the mere scent of lavender and lilacs have been shown to reduce anxiety. In addition, the odor from essential … Continue reading Floral Witchy Summer Beverages That You’ll Be OBSESSED With!
Have you ever thought about dreaming being an opening to another dimension, or a way to see into the afterlife? Well physics may be onto something along those lines in theories.
This is an amazing test that I resonated with well. Being a healer and avid chakra worker I found that this test was super on point and did actually give proper results.
This week marks a spectacular event, which i’m sure you’ve already heard about. But have you heard about the significance of the 2 planets aligning? Let me explain it for you….
Hi my divine friends. THE NEW Moon in December is in Sagittarius and it’s going to have a powerful effect on everyone. What does it mean? Well let me tell you:
Hi my divine friends. Theres a full moon and lunar eclipse on the same night in gemini this month! What does it mean? Well let me tell you:
Hi my divine friends. Lets talk about numerology for a second. Some of you may know about it, some may be new to it, but lets touch base about your life path number.
🌙💛 PICK a moon and comment below your choice. The universe will give you some guidance that will help you navigate this crazy week ahead of us.
Hello my Divine friends, this day marks a serious transformation. The extra luck for the Friday the 13th energy aligned with a new moon the night following is practically giving peoples manifests to them.
Hello my Divine friends, this month marks a serious moon phase month. The wonderful and rare Blue Moon is upon us. It is not just any blue moon, it’s a hallowseve blue moon! Spell casters and manifestos are jumping for joy as the moons most powerful forces are working on this night. Read below to see what this rare event has in store for you.
So this story is a true one, it happened to a friend of mine. It made my skin crawl with tingles so I thought I would write it out for others to experience.
As we all know, Mercury Retrograde is a time of reflection and drama. Be prepared for the last of 2020 and let it heal open up a new portal for new beginnings in the new year coming.