Mysterious radio storms 3 billion light-years away are “resurrected” every 157 days

Beijing time, September 1st, according tomedia reports, astronomers’ latest observations show that the mysterious radio storms in the same region of deep space keep running regularly and are active again at a “scheduled time”. In June, researchers confirmed that FRB 121102 rapid radio storms were repeatedly active over a 157-day cycle. They predicted that the radio storm would be active again sometime in July or August, and based on the latest observations of the source of the radio storm, this is indeed the case.

Researchers say powerful radio pulses may come from black holes or neutration stars, 3 billion light-years from Earth.

FRB 121102 is located in an unknown dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light-years from Earth, and Chinese astronomers predict that the current FRB 121102 radio storm activity cycle will end on September 9. Rapid radio bursts (FRBs) are very short, but very strong, radio pulses that were first observed in 2007, but astronomers still don’t know the true origin of rapid radio bursts.

A team of researchers at the National Observatory of China used a spometer radio telescope with a mirror diameter of 1,640 feet to monitor the location of the FRB 121102 radio storm, predicting that it would cycle for 156.1 days. At the same time, the team predicts that the FRB 121102 radio storm activity phase will end between August 31 and September 9, followed by a 67-day silence period.

If there is still evidence of a radio storm in the area on 9 September, it will either evolve or the prediction will be wrong. If the source continues to open after the expected shutdown time, the team said, it suggests that the assumed source’s existence is not real or has evolved, and we hope that other radio observatories will do more follow-up monitoring.

By 2020, staff at the Max Planck Institute in Germany had observed 36 radio storms from FRB 121102 using the Effersberg telescope and speculated that frB 121102 had a period of 161 days.

Pictured is the artist’s description of a “rapid radio storm” that could have been a large-mass star (blue) or a neutrane star (pink).

They predict that the radio storm activity cycle will end on October 14 this year, more than a month later than the Chinese team predicted. The Chinese team said their predictions came from recent observations and combined with all previous studies to accurately predict the end of radio storm activity.

For the past four years, astronomers have used the Lovell telescope to study one of the unusual radio storms — naming it FRB 121102 — in search of other radio storms in the pattern. They found that the source of the radio storm was switched off in June, but would resume by August 28, and recent observations confirmed that the prediction was correct.

This is the second time that a rapid radio storm has been repeated, and the first time it has been named FRB 180916.J10158 plus 56, with a running period of 16 days. The team says proving the regularity of these radio storms will help them rule out some of the original theories of the mysterious astronomical phenomenon.

At least the recurring of some rapid radio storms ruled them out as a precursor to catastrophic events, the study authors said. Astronomers had previously thought that most radio storms broke out only once and never happened again, making it impossible to predict the phenomenon.

However, some radio storms show signs of repetitive activity, but only recently have they been proven to be completely random, at least in the 16-day cycle of FRB 180916.J10158 plus 56. Regular sequences of radio bursts may suggest that such powerful eruptions are related to large-scale cosmic phenomena.

These cosmic phenomena may involve the trajectory of large-mass stars, neuter stars in a two-star system, or black holes, and other possible explanations for this periodic activity include that the rotational axis of highly magnetized neuter stars causes periodic flare bursts.

When rapid radio storms were first discovered in 2007, they were initially thought to be one-off events related to large-mass stellar explosions.

FRB 121102 radio storms were first detected in 2012 and for the first time in 2016 with recurring signs. FRB hunter Benjamin Stappers said the results relied on regular observations and und detected signals, which were important during the 67-day silence period.

Surprisingly, the active interval for FRB 121102 radio storms is 157 days, almost 10 times the 16-day interval for the first observation of repeated radio storms FRB 180916.J10158 plus 56.