Don’t panic, mysterious sources have been sending radio signals to Earth for years. Now scientists have identified some of their origins — and they were amazed at what they found.
And no, it’s not an alien yet.
Using the Hubble Space Telescope at NASA, astronomers Fast radio burst (FRB). In a thousandth of a second, these powerful blasts produce the same amount of energy that the sun produces throughout the year.
Approximately 1,000 Feds have been detected since the first Fed was discovered in 2001, Famous for being difficult to track Because they disappear in an instant without a trace. Only 15 of them have been tracked to a particular galaxy.
Scientists are interested in tracking where these strong pulses are coming from, so they can determine what kind of space event triggers them.
In a new study to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, researchers using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 identified five of the eight recent Feds in host galaxies and where they occurred. I was able to identify the type. One of the hallmarks of all these distant galaxies is the “swirl arm” that forms the stars.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope tracked two short, powerful radio bursts up to the spiral arms of the two galaxies shown above. The two images on the left show the entire Hubble snapshot of each galaxy. The two digitally enhanced images on the right show the spiral structure of each galaxy in more detail. The oval dotted lines in each of the four images indicate the location of the brilliant radio flare.
Science: NASA, ESA, Alexandra Mannings (UC Santa Cruz), Wen-fai Fong (Northwestern) Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
Our results are new and exciting. This is the first high-resolution view of the Fed’s population, and Hubble reveals that five of them are localized near or above the galaxy’s spiral arms. “We do,” said lead author Alexander Drumnings. “Most galaxies are huge, relatively young, and still forming stars. Imaging gives us a better understanding of the overall characteristics of the host galaxy, such as mass and star formation, and what is happening correctly. Hubble is in the Fed’s position because it has very good resolution. “
Some arm structures were tighter, while others were looser, showing different star distributions. The image shows that the Fed is unlikely to come from the youngest and heaviest star in the galaxy.
According to scientists, flares are unlikely to be due to the explosive death of these young stars or the coalescence of neutron stars. They also do not come from dwarf galaxies that scientists have not previously ruled out as possible. With each new discovery, astronomers narrow down the possible explanations for these mysterious signals.
“We don’t know the cause of the Fed, so it’s very important to use it when it’s there,” said team member Wen-fai Fong. “This technique worked very well to identify precursors of other types of transients, such as supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. Hubble also played a major role in these studies.”
The team’s findings support the idea that the Fed derives from the burst of a young magnetar, a type of neutron star with a strong magnetic field. Scientists call them the most powerful magnets in the universe — 10 trillion times more powerful than refrigerator door magnets.
“Because of those strong magnetic fields, magnetars are totally unpredictable,” explains Fong. “In this case, the Fed is thought to be derived from flares from young magnetars. Giant stars undergo stellar evolution to become neutron stars, some of which are strongly magnetized, causing flares and magnetic processes on the surface and emitting. May be a radio light. “
The galaxies observed in this study existed billions of years ago, so scientists are observing galaxies that emerged when the universe was about half its current age. Many of them are as huge as the Milky Way, which is also a type of spiral galaxy.
All galaxies are 400 to 9 billion light-years away from Earth.
“This is a very new and exciting area,” Fong said. “Finding these localized events is a key piece of the puzzle and a very unique piece of the puzzle compared to what was done before.”
NASA tracks the sources of mysterious fast radio bursts that signal the Earth