The detection of the new Fast Radio Burst (FRB) termed FRB 20190520B raises some important questions about the origin and source of these signals.
New Delhi: Scientists have detected radio signals coming from the space, possibly from a galaxy which is 3 billion lightyears away. This is the second time such a signal was detected, raising questions about the origin, said researchers.
The detection of the new Fast Radio Burst (FRB) termed FRB 20190520B raises some important questions about the origin and source of these signals, said the scientists.
The observations were published in the science journal called Nature. It was authored by researchers from the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, who have detailed the FRB detected by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST).
The scientists have called the radio signals a cosmic mystery and astronomers say they are getting closer to solving the mystery as they have been able to trace the signals back to their home galaxies. The scientists also added that they are yet to determine the actual cause behind the radio signals. The radio signals are called Fast radio bursts, or FRBs.
The FRB was detected using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in Guizhou, China, in May 2019, said the article. Additional observations recorded nearly 75 more FRBs in a five-month period in 2020. The signal was then localised using the US National Science Foundation’s Karl G Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), it added.
Casey Law, one of the co-authors of the article, said, “These characteristics make this one look a lot like the very first FRB whose position was determined — also by the VLA — back in 2016.” The 2016 object is called FRB 121102 and the properties are similar to FRB20190520B. “Now we actually need to explain this double mystery and why FRBs and persistent radio sources are found together sometimes,” Law was quoted by the media. The earlier FRB is also close to a persistent radio source.
“The FRB field is moving very fast right now and new discoveries are coming out monthly. However, big questions still remain, and this object is giving us challenging clues about those questions,” said Sarah Burke-Spolaor, another co-author of the study.