Scientists have now determined the source of short radio bursts or Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), considered as one of the most perplexing mysteries in the universe. It turns out that these radio bursts originated from a dwarf galaxy located billions of light-years away from us.
What are Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs)?
However, scientists still cannot explain what cause these FRBs to happen. Still, others have expressed their own theories about the true cause of the phenomenon. Some have suggested that these radio bursts are actually aliens trying to contact us. Those who believe this theory say that the repeated FRBs from the same source indicate that some advanced alien civilization is attempting to get in touch with us.
Meanwhile, others suggest that the radio signals could have simply come from a neutron star. Others also believe that the FRBs come from an active galactic nucleus. In 2015, scientists utilized the Very Large Array in New Mexico to detect more FRBs after they spotted repeated signals from the same area in the universe. The instrument captured data at 200 frames per second from the area but during their initial observation period, they could not detect the same FRBs.
How are Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) Detected?
They then used the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Luckily, they were able to detect the same FRBs and this time, they were able to pinpoint the signals’ source. The scientists found that the FRBs actually come from a dwarf galaxy in the constellation Auriga. The galaxy, which is smaller than the Milky Way, is located between two and a half to three billion light years away from us. The scientists admit that further research is still needed.
As of now, one of the best explanations for these FRBs is that it is emitted by a magnetar. This is a type of neutron star with a very powerful magnetic field. A neutron star, on the other hand, is a small but extremely dense star. It is composed of neutrons that are formed when a star collapsed under its own weight.