Astronomers trace the origin of mysterious and powerful radio signals in three distant galaxies. news from mexico

Washington, United States- Astronomers have traced one of the most powerful and distant fast radio bursts ever found to its unusual cosmic origin: a strange set of “blob”-shaped galaxies.

it Unexpected discovery may provide more information about the reasons behind mysterious bursts of radio waves Which has baffled scientists for years.

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According to information received from CNN The powerful signal, known as FRB 20220610A, was first identified on June 10, 2022 And covered a distance of 8 billion light years to reach Earth. A light year refers to the distance that light travels in one year, which is equal to 9.46 billion kilometers (5.88 billion miles).

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs)) are brief, intense bursts of radio waves, lasting milliseconds and still of unknown origin. The first FRB was identified in 2007, and since then hundreds of such fleeting cosmic flashes have been observed from distant points in the universe.

The signal lasted less than a millisecond

This special loud radio explodes Lasted less than a millisecond, but was four times more energetic than previously known FRBs, According to a preliminary study published in October, the explosion released emissions equivalent to the energy output of our Sun over the course of 30 years.

Many FRBs emit super-bright radio waves that last at most a few milliseconds before disappearing, making them difficult to observe.

Radio telescopes have proven useful in tracking the trajectories of bright cosmic flashesSo researchers used the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder, or ASKAP, radio telescope in Western Australia and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile to determine where the mysterious burst originated.

O!Observations led scientists to a vast celestial space, What was initially thought to be a single irregular galaxy or a group of three interacting galaxies.

Now Astronomers have revealed, using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, that the fast radio burst came from a group of at least seven galaxies that were so close together that they could all fit inside the Milky Way.

The findings were presented on Tuesday in the 243rd meeting of American Astronomical Society in New Orleans.

unusual galactic clusters

The galaxies in the group appear to be interacting and may even be in the process of merging.According to researchers, that could have triggered the fast radio burst.

“Without Hubble images, it will remain a mystery whether this FRB originated in an intact galaxy or in some type of interacting system,” he said in a statement. Alexa Gordon, lead author of the study and doctoral student in astronomy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.

“It is these types of environments – these strange ones – that push us toward a better understanding of the mystery of FRBs.”

The galactic cluster, known as a compact group, is extraordinary and “an example of the densest galaxy-scale structures we know of,” said the study’s co-authors. Wen-Fai Fong, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern and Gordon’s doctoral dissertation director.

As galaxies interact, they can trigger bursts of star formationGordon said, which could be related to the explosion.

Fast radio bursts have been found mainly in isolated galaxiesBut astronomers have also found them in globular clusters and, now, in a compact group, Gordon points out.

“We need to continue to find more FRBs of this type, near and far, and in all these types of environments,” he said.

They investigate the origin of fast radio bursts

has been detected Nearly a thousand fast radio bursts have occurred since its initial discovery nearly two decades agoBut astronomers are still unclear about what causes them.

However, many agree that they are probably caused by compact objects, such as black holes or neutron stars, Dense remains of exploded stars. According to recent research, magnetars, or highly magnetized stars, may cause rapid radio bursts.

Understanding the origins of fast radio bursts can help astronomers better determine the underlying cause that launches them into the universe.

“Despite hundreds of FRB events discovered to date, only a fraction of them have been identified with their host galaxies,” study co-author Yuxin Vic Dong said in a statement. “Of that small part, only a few came from dense galaxy environments, but none had ever been seen in such a compact group. Therefore, his birthplace is indeed rare.” Dong is a National Science Foundation graduate researcher and astronomy doctoral student in Fong’s laboratory at Northwestern.

A More information about fast radio bursts may also hold revelations about the nature of the universe. As explosions travel through space over billions of years, they interact with cosmic material

“Radio waves, in particular, are sensitive to any interfering material in our line of sight from the FRB location,” Dong said. “This means that the waves must travel through any clouds of material around the FRB site, through its host galaxy, through the universe and finally through the Milky Way. By simply delaying the FRB signal, we can measure the sum of all these contributions,

Astronomers envision increasingly sensitive methods for detecting bright radio bursts in the future, allowing more of them to be discovered at greater distances.Gordon noted.

“Ultimately, we are trying to answer the questions: What causes them? Who are his parents and what are his origins? “Hubble observations provide a spectacular view of the surprising types of environments that give rise to these mysterious phenomena,” Fong said.

Source: x @CNNEE

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