“Lasting only a fraction of a second yet packing a phenomenal amount of energy, FRBs are brief radio flashes of unknown origin that appear to come from random directions on the sky. Though only a handful have been documented previously, astronomers believe that the observable Universe is rocked by thousands of these events each day.”
Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory, US
The bursts typically last only a few milliseconds, are wideband (from MHz to GHz), sometimes polarised, and are thought to originate predominantly outside our galaxy. Hypotheses for their source include:
• Collapsing black holes or neutron stars • Blitzars (a spinning pulsar rapidly collapses into a black hole) • Hyperflares of magnetars (a neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field)
“None of the models put forward seem perfectly adequate. Not one really explains all the observations.”
Source; PNAS 2017
More info Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
Note: A new (2017) study from Harvard puts forward the imaginative idea that FRBs may be signs of Alien Civilisation's use of photon-drives to propel their spacecraft . . . though the authors end with the statement that the purpose of their paper includes “at the very least, the important purpose of enabling astronomers to rule it out” . . . See : Fast Radio Bursts from Extragalactic Light Sails
Project Breakthrough Listen (UC Berkeley)
“ […] has detected 15 fast radio bursts emanating from the mysterious 'repeater' FRB 121102.”
Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.
If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !
Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.
( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)
You are currently viewing an auto-translated version of Wikenigma
Please be aware that no automatic translation engines are 100% accurate, and so the auto-translated content will very probably feature errors and omissions.
Nevertheless, Wikenigma hopes that the translated content will help to attract a wider global audience.