The latest study conducted by a group of scientists has got information about the origin of the strange and powerful repetitive First Radio Bursts. In 2007, when scientists got hold of the first ever First Radio Bursts (FRB), they were introduced to some of the most powerful forms of energy. The discovery was exciting and at the same time, it was quite surprising to see such intense pulses of radio waves that last just for milliseconds. In 2016, the scientists discovered for the first time the repetitive FRBs which again puzzled their perception about FRBs.
Normally, the FRBs are single spikes of energy that come from a particular source outside the Milky Way Galaxy. These non-repetitive FRBs come from all over the sky and last for a period of several milliseconds. That is why their source is difficult to detect. But when scientists discovered FRBs occurring repeatedly they got baffled. They wanted to know the extraterrestrial source that causes power explosions resulting in repeated bursting of fast radio signals. In 2016, the scientists detected that a first radio burst named FRB121102 is releasing multiple bursts.
At first, they suspected that the repetitive FRBs are coming out from multiple sources. But after deeply analyzing the FRB 121102, they got to know that the repetitive bursts are coming out from a single source with multiple cataclysmic events. The Lead author of the study Jason Hessels, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam, said that the FRB 121102 is the only known repeating FRB source and the question in the field is whether this repeating FRB source is fundamentally different compared to all the other apparently non-repeating sources.
The researchers analyzed the data of 16 bursts of FRB 121102 collected by Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. Now it seems that they have got some important information regarding the source of the multiple bursts. They suspect that the source from which the repetitive FRBs are coming might be a dead star or a neutron star that is close to an extremely strong magnetic field. The scientists also found out that the FRB 121102 is situated in the star-forming area of a distant dwarf galaxy which situated as far as 3 billion light years away from our Earth. The scientists saw that when the radio waves coming from FRB 121102 penetrate through a magnetized plasma, their polarization direction gets twisted which is called Faraday rotation.
Hessels and his team found out that the radio bursts of FRB 121102 were found to be 500 times more twisted as compared to other FRBs that are discovered till date. This indicates that the multiple bursts of FRB 121102 pass through an extremely hot plasma that has an extremely powerful magnetic field. These types of plasmas are mostly related to supermassive black holes or supernovas.