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Australian researchers spot three strongest Fast Radio Bursts since 2007; Aliens sending them?

To recall, FRB, for the first time, was discovered in 2007. In the same year, the scientists found some strange, strong, and intense rays sourcing in the space. Though the waves lasted just for a fraction of second but emitted extremely powerful and concentrated waves than our sun.

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A decade after the finding the Fast Radio Burst (FRB) in 2007, researchers have now detected three strongest FRBs since 2007. Scientists used CSIRO’s Parkes Radio Telescope in Western Australia to trace the FRBs. The first one, FRB 180301, was detected on March 1. FRB 180309 was detected 8 days later, and FRB 180311 just two days ago. FRB 180309 is particularly interesting as it has a signal-to-noise ratio of 411, making it more than 4.5 times brighter than the next best detection.

“The burst on 9 March was by far the brightest one we’ve seen,” Professor Maura McLaughlin, from West Virginia University in Morgantown, told New Scientist.

“While astronomers don’t know all that much about FRBs – only tens of bursts have ever been detected – we can infer some intriguing details about them,” Danny Price, Breakthrough Listen Project Scientist for Parkes, said in a post about the discovery of FRB 180301.

“Firstly, they exhibit a tell-tale sweep in frequency that suggests they are incredibly far away: billions of light years. FRBs travel billions of years to get to us, and only last a few milliseconds, suggesting the emission mechanism is short-lived. For us to detect them clearly after such a long journey, they have also to be insanely bright.”

To recall, FRB, for the first time, was discovered in 2007. In the same year, the scientists found some strange, strong, and intense rays sourcing in the space. Though the waves lasted just for a fraction of second but emitted extremely powerful and concentrated waves than our sun, which no doubt surprised the global astronomic community. In 2007, total Eighteen FRBs have been discovered, and scientists believe that one of these bursts takes place in the sky once in every 10 seconds. While previously, the scientists believe the rays coming from our Milky Ways, the new findings have corroborated the radio bursts coming from the tiny galaxy, located few light years away from the earth.

Scientists previously believed the sporadic bursts of radio waves to be sourced from the Milky Way itself, or from the closest galactic neighbors of the earth. But three new cosmological studies have confirmed the new modest derivation of this unexplained burst.

Some conspiracy theorists claim that intelligent extraterrestrial lifeform might be sending these mysterious radio bursts to us.  However, a professor of astronomy, James Cordes, at Cornell University stated that these telescopes used remote sensing to obtain data present three billion light years away from Earth. An in-depth study of these new found data shall allow the astronomers to provide a rather specific explanation about the neighboring environment of the source of these radio bursts and more specifically

In radio astronomy, a fast radio burst (FRB) is a high-energy astrophysical phenomenon of unknown origin manifested as a transient radio pulse lasting only a few milliseconds. The first FRB was discovered by Duncan Lorimer and his student David Narkevic in 2007 when they were looking through archival pulsar survey data, and it is therefore commonly referred to as Lorimer Burst. Many FRBs have since been found, including a repeating FRB.

When the FRBs are polarized, it indicates that they are emitted from a source contained within an extremely powerful magnetic field.[5] The origin of the FRBs has yet to be determined; proposals for its origin range from a rapidly rotating neutron star and a black hole to extraterrestrial intelligence.

The first FRB, the Lorimer Burst FRB 010724, was discovered in 2007 when Duncan Lorimer assigned his student David Narkevic to look through archival data taken in 2001 by the Parkes radio dish in Australia.[13] Analysis of the survey data found a 30-jansky dispersed burst which occurred on 24 July 2001,[11] less than 5 milliseconds in duration, located 3° from the Small Magellanic Cloud. The reported burst properties argue against a physical association with the Milky Way galaxy or the Small Magellanic Cloud. The burst became known as the Lorimer Burst.[14] The discoverers argue that current models for the free electron content in the universe imply that the burst is less than 1 gigaparsec distant. The fact that no further bursts were seen in 90 hours of additional observations implies that it was a singular event such as a supernova or merger of relativistic objects.[11] It is suggested that hundreds of similar events could occur every day and, if detected, could serve as cosmological probes.

Because of the isolated nature of the observed phenomenon, the nature of the source remains speculative. As of 2016, there is no generally accepted explanation. The emission region is estimated to be no larger than a few hundred kilometers (because of causality). If the bursts come from cosmological distances, their sources must be very bright.

One possible explanation would be a collision between very dense objects like merging black holes or neutron stars. It has been suggested that there is a connection to gamma-ray bursts. Some have speculated that these signals might be artificial in origin, that they may be signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

In 2007, just after the publication of the e-print with the first discovery, it was proposed that fast radio bursts could be related to hyperflares of magnetars. In 2015 three studies supported the magnetar hypothesis.

Blitzars were proposed in 2013 as an explanation.[51] In 2014 it was suggested that following dark matter-induced collapse of pulsars,[62] the resulting expulsion of the pulsar magnetospheres could be the source of fast radio bursts.[63] In 2016 the collapse of the magnetospheres of Kerr-Newman black holes are proposed to explain the origin of the FRBs’ “afterglow” and the weak gamma-ray transient 0.4 s after GW 150914. It has also been proposed that if fast radio bursts originate in black hole explosions, FRBs would be the first detection of quantum gravity effects.

Repeated bursts of FRB 121102 have initiated multiple origin hypotheses.[67] A coherent emission phenomenon known as superradiance, which involves large-scale entangled quantum mechanical states possibly arising in environments such as active galactic nuclei, has been proposed to explain these and other associated observations with FRBs (e.g. high event rate, variable intensity profiles).

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Dave Mustaine

Dave Mustaine

Dave, one of the associate writers at Science Examiner, has been taking care of all the space-related coverage. He loves to write about the latest happenings in space, and before joining Science Examiner, Dave was a part of the editorial board of a local magazine.

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