Image source: www.cmu.edu
In a successful observation by the group of astronauts, the source of a Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) is found. The FRB as per its nomenclature releases cosmic radio waves to the universe. These spark for milliseconds in the dwarf galaxy located around three-billion light-years away from the planet earth.
Fast Radio Bursts created headlines in 2007 for the first time after a lot of research on the subject that began in 2001. Earlier, there were doubts about the origin of FRB with many scientists were confused whether these rays originated within the galaxy or outside it.
Until now, around 18 fast radio bursts have already been found. Last year, a team of astronomers from the US and Canada made an in-depth study into the subject for 6 months to find the source of FRB 121102 (latest code given to Fast Radio Outbursts).
According to the team of astronauts who conducted the study, it was a herculean task. They had to use the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to get a precise location of FRB 121102 in the open universe.
Shriharsh Tendulkar of McGill University led the team in Hawaii when his team was searching the source of FRB 121102. They were unclear whether it was coming from a galaxy or a star, but later on, it was found that the source of FRB was similar to star – tiniest speck of light. In the words of Tendulkar, “it’s 100 million times fainter than the faintest object visible to the naked eye.”
What does the Fast Radio Bursts Research say?
The astronomers found that FRB 121102 was located in a dwarf galaxy with stars all around. Earlier, they believed that FRBs would be found in larger galaxies but the latest research proved them wrong. It is assumed that some billions of years ago, a series of fast bright bursts of radio waves entered into the open space, and since then it kept on radiating bright lights.
Initially, FRB 121102 travelled all across the universe and until scientist noticed them properly in 2007. In 2015, around 16 flashes were observed and then again in 2016, nine more appeared. Relentless research finally disclosed that FRBs originate from the minuscule galaxy amidst little heavenly bodies. Scientists have unraveled many things about universe in the past but for more information on FRBs – we have to wait more – until more and more details about the subject are being unearthed by scientists. The subject matter of Fast radio bursts is still shrouded in mystery.
Scientists’ Tryst with Fast Radio Bursts
It was an accidental discovery. Scientist Duncan Lorimer in 2007 was searching something related to Pulsars – when he noticed the FRB that flashed occasionally into the open space. But it was brighter than pulsars. This marked the start of the minute research into FRBs.
According to Shami Chatterjee, the researcher into the subject, “This is a good place to go fishing because you’re more likely to see a fast radio burst at this spot,” says Chatterjee.
More study will be done to dig out further details of FRBs. It will help scientists to know if a bunch of FRBs has similar characteristics and physical fundamentals. Then it will make clear that why and what inside a dwarf galaxy lead to repeating of fast radio bursts?