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Zooming In on the Origins of Fast Radio Bursts

4 Jun 2020, 21:05 UTC
Zooming In on the Origins of Fast Radio Bursts
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IMAGE: CSIRO’s ASKAP radio telescope in Western Australia detected the precise location of four fast radio bursts. Follow-up observations by NRAO’s JVLA and CSIRO’s ATCA radio telescopes and the world’s largest optical telescopes – Gemini South, ESO’s Very Large Telescope, Magellan Baade, Keck and LCOGT-1m – identified and imaged the host galaxies. Credit: CSIRO/Sam Moorfield

One of the most energetic, and still unexplained, phenomena are Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). These momentary bursts, that in a few rare instances repeat, emit the same energy in seconds that our Sun will release across 80 years. Part of understanding what they require means just understanding where they are. New research from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has been able to catch four of these systems bursting and precisely identified their place in the sky. They appear to be in the outskirts of galaxies, ruling out SMBHs as the source. This work is published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL) with lead author Shivani Bhandari. While this paper still doesn’t tell us exactly what the source of these objects is, the location hints that it could be aged objects undergoing dramatic interactions, such as neutron stars or white dwarfs. More research ...

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