BEIJING, June 16 (Xinhua) — A new study shows that 157 consecutive days of radio storms from the same location in outer space could help astronomers determine how these mysterious signals are generated, according tomedia reports. Rapid radio storms (FRBs) are very short, intense radio pulses that were first discovered in 2007, but astronomers still don’t know their exact origin.
The artist depicts the origin of a rapid radio storm, possibly from a larger constant (blue part) and a companion star, or from a neutron star (pink part).
Scientists have speculated about the mysterious phenomenon, suggesting that the signal may be a sign that an alien civilization is trying to connect with Earth. Now, researchers at the University of Manchester in the Ukingres have analysed long-term monitoring data from the Lovell telescope in an attempt to understand these unusual signals.
The most likely explanation, they say, is that the signal came from a black hole or binary system, and that over the past four years astronomers have observed one of the unusual radio bursts, known as FRB 121102, using the 73-meter-diameter Lovell Telescope.
The radio storm has an unusual cycle compared to other radio storms found, with a flare period lasting 90 days, disappearing for the next 67 days, and then repeating the cycle. Over the course of a four-year study, the researchers observed 32 radio pulses from the same source, combined with previously discovered FRB 121102 radio storms, and found this particular pattern of rapid radio storms. Study author Kaustubh Rajwade, an astrophysicist at the University of Manchester, said: ‘We predict that the source of the radio storm is currently “off” and should be “turned on” by August 28, the second time that a rapid radio storm cycle has been detected, the first is FRB 180916.J10158 plus 56, with a cycle of 16 days.
The team confirmed that the new study would help them analyze the mystery of the origin of mysterious radio storms, and that at least some of the repetitions of rapid radio storms rule out the possibility that they originated from catastrophic events.
Astronomers say most radio storms flare only once and never happen again, making it impossible to predict when they will happen again. Some repeated radio bursts, until recently, were found to be completely random, as was the case with a 16-day FRB 180916.J10158 plus 56.
The orderly law of radio storm activity suggests that this powerful radio storm is associated with large-scale cosmic phenomena, which may include the orbits of large-mass stars, neutron stars inside binary systems, or black holes.
Other possible explanations for this cyclical activity include periodic bursts caused by the swing of the spin axis of highly magnetized neutron stars, which Rajwad says is an exciting finding because it is the second time a pattern of operation has been found in an outbreak and has the longest cycle.
“The periodicity of radio storms provides an important clue to the study of their origins, and this particular period of activity may be related to neutron stars,” he said. “
When astronomers first discovered a rapid radio storm in 2007, it was first thought to be a one-off event associated with a large-mass star burst, and in 2012, astronomers first discovered a 157-day rapid radio storm, and in 2016 the first time the rapid radio storm was discovered.
Benjamin Stappers, a “FRB hunter”, said the findings were based on regular monitoring of the signal and found that a 67-day signal silence period was important.
To their surprise, the time range of this cycle is almost 10 times longer than the 16-day period of the first repeating source, FRB 180916.J10158,56, which was observed by the Cana CHIME telescope.
Duncan, of the University of West Virginia, said the exciting findings show that we know very little about the origins of rapid radio storms, and that we need to conduct in-depth observations of the large number of rapid radio storms to gain a clearer picture of these periodic sources and trace their origins.
Ryan, of Swinburne University, who was not involved in the study, told Newsweek that the findings could prove to be “changers” and that the biggest question now is the correlation between FRB 121102 and other radio storms, such as: Why is it rarely observed to repeat radio storms?
He points out that so far only a small number of radio storms have had cycle repetitions, a finding that could help uncover the potential cycle patterns of radio storms, which may be repeated, but with different intensity or simply not our ability to detect repeat patterns. The study was published in the recently published journal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The origin of the rapid radio storm remains an open mystery
Rapid radio bursts are transient radio releases that are temporary and random when not only difficult to detect, but also difficult to study. Scientists still don’t know why rapid radio storms produce such short and violent eruptions.
Previous lysates have led to a number of guesses, including stellar collisions and signals released by extraterrestrial civilizations. The first rapid radio storm signal was detected in 2001 or, to be precisely said, “heard” by radio telescopes, but it was not until 2007 that scientists analyzed archival data to determine that it was a quick radio storm signal.
The rapid radio storm was so short-lived that it seemed to occur randomly, and it took astronomers years to prove that it was not a telescope instrument failure. Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics say the phenomenon is important for studying the structure and evolution of the universe, whether or not they fully understand the origins of rapid radio storms.
A large number of distant rapid radio bursts can be used as material detectors across galaxies, blurring the cosmic microwave background signals and helping scientists better understand the basic components of the universe, such as the relative amount of ordinary matter, dark matter and dark energy that affect the speed of the expansion of the universe. When the temperature drops after the Big Bang, a rapid radio storm can be used to track what caused the hydrogen atom fog that spread throughout the universe, turning it into free electrons and protons.