The first star caught in our galaxy sends fast radio explosions

The first star caught in our galaxy sends fast radio explosions

A little dead star that stunned us earlier this year was not done with its Shenanigans.

Magnet SGR 1935 + 2154, which released the first rapid radio eruption from the Milky Way in April, exploded once again, giving astronomers another chance to solve more than one major cosmic mystery.

On 8 October 2020, the CHIME / FRB Collaboration detected SGR 1935 + 2154 Three millisecond radio explosions in three seconds. To be continued CHIME / FRB Detection The fast radio telescope detected something else – a pulsating radio emission similar to the rotation period of a magnet.

“Looking back at SGR 1935 + 2154 is very exciting, and I hope that as we study these explosions more carefully, it will help us better understand the potential relationship between magnets. Fast radio explosions, “Deborah Good, astronomer and member of the University of British Columbia, Canada CHIME / FRB, Told ScienceAlert.

Findings, reported in The astronomer’s telegram, Is currently under analysis.

Prior to April of this year, rapid radio explosions (FRBs) were only detected coming from outside the galaxy, usually millions of light-years away from sources. The first was discovered in 2007, and since then astronomers have been trying to figure out what caused them.

As the name implies, FRBs are the most powerful radio waves detected in the sky, emitting more energy than a few hundred million suns. They last just milliseconds.

Since most fast radio explosion sources burn once and are never detected again, they are highly unpredictable. In addition, what we find usually comes from a distance, and our telescopes are unable to pick up individual stars. Both of these characteristics make it difficult for FRBs to find a valid source galaxy or known cause.

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But SGR 1935 + 2154 is about 30,000 light years away. On April 28, 2020, it spewed a powerful millisecond explosion, named after it. FRB 200428 In accordance with the traditions of naming the fastest radio explosion.

Once the signal strength was adjusted to the distance, it was found that the FRB 200428 was not as powerful as the Extralectric Fast Radio bursts – but everything about it applied to the profile.

“If the same signal came from a nearby galaxy, it would look like an FRP to us, just like the regular FRP galaxies nearby,” Caltech astronomer Srinivas Kulkarni told ScienceAlert in May. “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

We do not yet know much about the three new eruptions. He told ScienceAlert that some initial results may change as scientists are still working on the data. But we can already say that they are both similar and different from FRB 200428.

They are a little less powerful again, but they are all Still incredibly strong, And all milliseconds long. “Although there is less brightness than the detection earlier this year, these are still very bright bursts and we will see if they are extrinsic,” Good said.

“The most interesting aspect of this finding is that our three bursts seem to have occurred within a period of one cycle. The magnet is known to rotate once every 24 3.24 seconds, but our first and second bursts were separated by 0.954 seconds, and the second and third by 1.949 seconds, which is somewhat unusual. And I think we’ll see that it progresses further. “

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This may reveal something new and useful about magnetic behavior because – let’s face it – they are very different.

Magnets – we have them To date only 24 have been confirmed – a type of neutron star; It is the collapsing center of a dead star Black hole. Neutron stars are small and dense, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter, with a maximum of two suns. But magnets add something else to the mix: a stunningly powerful magnetic field.

These jaw-dropping fields a Four times more powerful than the Earth’s magnetic field, And a thousand times more powerful than an ordinary neutron star. We still don’t understand how they got that way.

But we know that magnets are subject to periods of action. When gravity tries to hold the star together – an internal force – the magnetic field, pulling it outward, is so powerful that it distorts the shape of the star. This leads to continuous tension, which occasionally creates beautiful starcakes and giant magnetic flares.

SGR 1935 + 2154 is subject to such actions, which represent a link between magnetic disturbances and at least some FRPs.

Apparently, astronomers have been keen to discover the origin of the first intra-galaxy FRB. When CHIME / FRB Other astronomers went to see the star, including a team led by Xu Wei of China’s National Astronomical Observatory who can access the speed of the world’s largest single-hole radio telescope.

They found something interesting, and the astronomer’s telegram – Vibrant radio emission. These radio pulses are nowhere near as explosive, but they are very rare: if checked, the SGR 1935 + 2154 is only the sixth magnet with a pulsed radio emission. The pulse duration was found to be 3.24781 seconds – almost exactly the rotational time of the star.

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This is interesting because so far, astronomers have struggled to find a connection between magnets and radio. Pulsars. Pulsars are another type of neutron star; They have a very normal magnetic field, but when they rotate they pulse in radio waves, and astronomers have long tried to figure out how the two types of stars relate.

Earlier this year, Australian astronomers identified a magnet that behaved like a radio pulsar – a “missing link” between the two, and evidence that at least some magnets could form pulsars. SGR 1935 + 2154 may be another part of the puzzle.

“Based on these results and increasing explosive activity, we speculate that the magnet may be in the process of becoming an active radio pulsar.” Weave’s team wrote.

This is a completely bloody attractive little star.

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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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