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Radio waves from famous FRB surprisingly long and late

28 Apr 2021, 12:00 UTC
Radio waves from famous FRB surprisingly long and late
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In this illustration, a burst of radio emission from a repeating fast radio burst arrives at the LOFAR telescope. The longest-wavelength part of the signal (red) is far longer than has ever been seen before from a fast radio burst. Plus, the longer-wavelength emission is arriving about 3 days later than the shorter-wavelength (higher-frequency, shown in purple) part of the emission. The inset is an image of the host galaxy of this fast radio burst, similar to our home galaxy, the Milky Way, but 500 million light-years away. Image via D. Futselaar/ S.P. Tendulkar/ ASTRON.
It was just over a decade ago that astronomers noticed bursts of radio waves from the cosmos, lasting just milliseconds, now known as fast radio bursts (FRBs). Today, these bursts are still shrouded in mystery, as astronomers work to gather clues to their nature. This month (April 2021), an international team of astronomers announced it has now broken an observational record for FRBs, by measuring radio bursts from one of the best-studied FRBs – known as FRB 20180916B – at lower frequencies (longer wavelengths) than ever before. They also found this very low frequency signal from FRB 20180916B arrives three days after higher frequency emission ...

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