Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief radio signals that last on the order of milliseconds. They appear to be extragalactic, coming from small, point-like areas on the sky. Some FRBs are one-off events, while others are periodic or “repeating”. The sources of FRBs are still unknown, but binary neutron star systems might be a piece of the puzzle.
Wanted: A Reliable Source of Repeating Fast Radio Bursts
Any proposed model for a repeating FRB must explain a number of observed behaviors. Among them are the following:
Repeating bursts from a given FRB source are consistent in frequency and overall intensity on the timescale of years.
Bursts exhibit small-scale variations in measures of the source’s magnetic environment.
FRBs seem to be preferentially hosted in massive, Milky-Way-like galaxies.
Example of an FRB from a repeating source, showing the intensity and various frequencies contained in a single burst (darker means more intense, lighter means less intense). The red lines just below and above 550 MHz and those near 450 MHz and 650 MHz indicate frequencies that were unused due to other radio signals interfering [adapted from the CHIME/FRB Collaboration, Andersen et al. 2019].Binary neutron stars (BNSs) have been considered as possible solutions to ...