Astronomers spot six fast radio bursts in a week

(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers from the CHIME collaboration have recorded six new fast radio bursts from a single source, all occurring within a week. Scientists have determined the approximate distance to the source of the burst, but its nature has yet to be understood. The burst registration message was published on The Astronomer’s Telegram.org.

The nature of fast radio bursts, which are very short but powerful radio pulses, is one of the important problems of modern astrophysics. Discovered in 2007, they can be either solitary or repetitive, and their sources are extraterrestrial in nature. A number of theories have been put forward to explain fast radio bursts. Currently, there are observational data indicating the connection of bursts with neutron stars, in particular with magnetars, as well as a number of cases of detecting sources of repeated bursts.

On March 31, 2021, the CHIME collaboration, using a radio telescope in Canada to search for fast radio bursts, reported six new burst cases from FRB 20201124A, which was first detected on November 24, 2020. One outburst was recorded on March 23, 26 and 28, and on March 27 CHIME detected three outbursts at once. It is worth noting that on April 4, the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope system located in Australia recorded another strong radio burst from FRB 20201124A, which lasted 3.2 milliseconds.

The burst with the highest peak signal-to-noise ratio received the designation 20210323A, the radiation energy flux for it was 5.5 Jyans per millisecond, and the measure of dispersion (the amount of “shift” of the signal arrival time depending on the wave frequency) was 413.5 parsecs per square centimeter. Astronomers were able to determine the approximate area where the signals came from, it is assumed that the redshift of the burst source is between 0.27 and 0.33. Scientists hope that further observations will help determine the nature of the burst source, or at least find its host galaxy.

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