According to scientists, from the source of fast repeating radio pulses (FRB), which was discovered last year, 1800 pulses were sent in our direction in 2 months. The hyperactive nature of the pulses allowed researchers to pinpoint its host galaxy and source.
The object, called FRB 20201124A, was observed using the 500-meter Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in China. This is described in a paper led by astronomer Heng Xiu of Peking University in China.
Mysterious radio signals
Fast radio pulses, also known as FRBs, are a mysterious cosmic phenomenon. High-intensity emissions typically last only a fraction of a second, and their origin was unknown until recently. Scientists have caught several thousand FRBs since the first one was discovered in 2007.
All FRBs are unusual, but the newly discovered one was particularly strange. After observing for 82 hours over two months, FAST detected 1,863 radio pulses, according to a paper published in Nature.
“Its polarization and signal strength varied dramatically, making it the first FRB to show these kinds of variations in its waves,” study author Fain Wang of Nanjing University told Inverse.
Almost all FRBs detected so far have come from very far away, making it difficult to determine their origin. Moreover, only a few of them showed a predictable character, so it is difficult to study them.
The signals are believed to come from huge explosions in deep space that disappear in less than a second.
Evidence so far indicates that the source of the pulses is a magnetar—a neutron star with a strong magnetic field. However, due to the change in its polarization over time, it is assumed that another object may be contributing to the propagation of the signals.