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Have We Found the Closest Extragalactic Fast Radio Burst?

16 Mar 2021, 16:00 UTC
Have We Found the Closest Extragalactic Fast Radio Burst?
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Editor’s note: Astrobites is a graduate-student-run organization that digests astrophysical literature for undergraduate students. As part of the partnership between the AAS and astrobites, we occasionally repost astrobites content here at AAS Nova. We hope you enjoy this post from astrobites; the original can be viewed at astrobites.org.
Title: A nearby repeating fast radio burst in the direction of M81
Authors: M. Bhardwaj et al.
First Author’s Institution: McGill University, Canada
Status: Accepted to ApJL
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are some of the most mysterious phenomena in radio astronomy. First discovered in 2007, these short but energetic bursts of radio waves last on the order of milliseconds. In the decade since their discovery, catalogs of FRBs have grown to include sources of repeated bursts, bursts whose host galaxies have been identified, and even an FRB-like burst of radio waves within the Milky Way. Each year brings more tantalizing new discoveries.
There is not yet a consensus on the mechanisms behind FRBs. In recent years, new bursts have allowed astronomers to rule out certain burst models and lend credence to others. For example, neutron stars with extremely powerful magnetic fields, called magnetars, are currently a leading candidate, while studies of FRB ...

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