A mysterious radio signal that resembles a heartbeat has arrived from the ends of the world outer spacereports CNN Relayed by slate. This transmission, which was intercepted on December 21, 2019 by a group of astronomers, was detailed in an article published by temper nature Released Wednesday.
The signal was captured using a Canadian radio telescope called CHIME. Its task is to analyze radio waves emitted by distant hydrogen. In this case, unusually fast radio bursts (or fast radio bursts, FRBs) were detected. The first FRBs were discovered in 2007. Since then, Astronomy scientists They were able to list hundreds of these fast cosmic flashes coming from different points of Universe.
“Boom, boom, boom”
While these fast bursts usually last a few milliseconds before fading out, astronomers have come across an atypical FRB signal. The signal, called FRB 20191221A, lasts up to three seconds, about 1,000 times longer than typical fast radio bursts. “There were periodic spikes that were remarkably subtle, emitting every millisecond — boom, boom, boom — like a heartbeat. This is the first time that the same signal has been periodic,” explained Danielle Micheli, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Technology. Kavli Institute of Astrophysics and Space at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
It is difficult to determine the exact origin of this signal. will come fromGalaxy It is located a billion light years away. But this projection is uncertain, the scientists point out. However, researchers believe the signal comes from emissions from two different types of neutron stars called radio and magnetic pulsars. In the case of FRB 20191221A, the source is surrounded by “a cloud of plasma that must be highly turbulent.”
With rapid bursts, within a few milliseconds, the equivalent of the energy of 500 million suns is emitted.
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