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Astronomers recently made a groundbreaking discovery, uncovering a remarkable phenomenon known as "Ultra-Fast Radio Bursts." These bursts, lasting only millionths of a second, have captured the attention of the scientific community.

Astronomers have recently made a breakthrough, known as the "Ultra-Fast Radio Burst".

By harunur roshidPublished 6 months ago 3 min read
Astronomers recently made a groundbreaking discovery, uncovering a remarkable phenomenon known as "Ultra-Fast Radio Bursts." These bursts, lasting only millionths of a second, have captured the attention of the scientific community.
Photo by Shiro hatori on Unsplash

A recent study in Nature Astronomy examines the discovery of "ultra-fast radio bursts," a new type of fast radio bursts (FRBs) that astronomers have found to last for a remarkably short duration of ten millionths of a second or less. In comparison, traditional FRBs typically last only thousandths of a second. This study builds on a previous research conducted in 2021 that proposed the possibility of FRBs lasting for millionths of a second. Moreover, this finding follows astronomers' recent announcement of the detection of the oldest and farthest FRB observed, located approximately 8 billion light-years away from Earth.

Mark Snelders, a Ph.D. candidate at ASTRON and the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), who served as the lead author of the most recent study and co-author of the 2021 study, noted that discussions on this topic were frequent during their group meetings. By chance, he discovered the existence of a public dataset suitable for their research.

The study's approach involved obtaining five hours of data on a known FRB known as FRB 20121102A, which was discovered in November 2012 and is approximately three billion light-years away. This FRB is recognized as the first known repeating FRB in accordance with a 2022 study. The data for the study was obtained from the Breakthrough Listen project, a global scientific collaboration aiming to find evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Specifically, the data was derived from the Breakthrough Listen at Green Bank segment of the Open Data Archive.

Upon acquiring the data, the researchers divided the initial 30 minutes into 500,000 individual images per second. By applying machine learning and software filters, they successfully identified eight ultra-fast radio bursts lasting a mere ten millionths of a second or less. To provide context, ten millionths of a second is equivalent to 0.0000001 seconds.

The researchers emphasize that their detection and characterization of these microsecond-duration bursts highlight the presence of a population of ultra-fast radio bursts that existing wide-field FRB searches overlook due to inadequate time resolution. These results indicate that FRBs occur more frequently and exhibit greater diversity than originally anticipated. Consequently, these findings have the potential to enhance our understanding of energy, waiting times, and the distribution of burst rates.

While uncertainties persist regarding the origins of these ultra-fast radio bursts, the research team anticipates identifying additional instances in the future. Nevertheless, the challenge lies in locating data files capable of being divided into 500,000 separate images per second, as certain files lack the necessary specifications for such division.

The team's long-term objective involves utilizing FRB data to map the space between stars and galaxies. They believe that this endeavor will provide invaluable insights into the interactions between galaxies and the surrounding gas.

FRBs represent some of the most enigmatic celestial phenomena ever studied since their initial discovery in 2007. Over time, astronomers have made significant progress in comprehending their potential origins and the abundance of FRBs in the universe. For example, it has been established that the majority of FRBs originate outside of our Milky Way Galaxy.

In 2020, astronomers identified a source of FRBs originating from a magnetar within our own Milky Way Galaxy. Furthermore, while FRB 20121102A is recognized as the first known repeating FRB, a 2023 study identified 25 regularly repeating FRBs through the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), located in British Columbia, Canada. Just to date, CHIME has detected over 1,000 FRBs.

What new discoveries will astronomers make in the years and decades to come regarding FRBs and ultra-fast radio bursts? Only time will reveal the answers, underscoring the limitless potential of scientific exploration.


About the Creator

harunur roshid

I am harun so exitet Vocal site. I love to earn online.

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Comments (3)

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  • Alex H Mittelman 6 months ago

    Radio bursts are awesome! Thank you for sharing!

  • thanks

  • StoryholicFinds6 months ago

    Love it! ❤️

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