Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are the brightest, most diffuse, millisecond-long astronomical peaks in radio bands whose origins are still unknown. Chinese and American astronomers, led by researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, reported that 1,863 bursts were detected in 82 hours over 54 days from the recurring source FRB 20201124A.
Shaken irregularly at 36 days then stable for 18 days
These observations reveal a complex, dynamically changing magnetized proximal environment about one astronomical unit from the radio source (or the distance between Earth and the Sun), according to the study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. For the first time, scientists found that the Faraday measure of rotation, an indicator of magnetic field strength, shakes erratically for the first 36 days and then remains stable for 18 days.
The results of the study revealed that the mobile and fast radio burst died out within 72 hours, a phenomenon that had not been detected before. The team then used the Keck Telescope in Hawaii to observe the Milky Way-sized metal-rich host galaxy.
The results are a bit mixed
According to the study, this galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy with an FRB source located in a region of low star density between two arms midway from the galactic center. Some recent observations of a fast radio burst in the Milky Way have suggested that at least some FRBs originate from magnetars.
But the results of this study added further complexity to the origin of FRBs, showing that the recurring source FRB 20201124A is unlikely to be a young magnetar motor formed during the superexplosion of a massive star that results in a long gamma-ray burst or a super-bright supernova. .
Located in a deep and rounded natural karst depression in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, FAST officially started operations in January 2020 and was officially opened to the world on March 31, 2021. FAST is considered the most sensitive radio telescope in the world.