Which? A strange radio signal captured from space has confused astronomers

Scientists from the applied research agency CSIRO and the University of Sydney were arrested A strange intermittent radio signal coming from spaceand they couldn't determine what it was.

According to Manisha Kalb, a professor at the University of Sydney, and Emil Link, a researcher at CSIRO, in an article in The Conversation, This signal has never been seen before..

Experts explain that they usually study signals called “radio transits,” which come from pulsars, which are rotating neutron stars that expel massive jets of energy, some intermittently, some in a predictable pattern. but This new discovery does not fit these characteristics Known in advance.

In reality, It is the longest signal ever seen and in a strange pattern. “Its cycle is only about an hour long, but from many observations we have seen that it sometimes emits long, bright flashes, sometimes fast, weak pulses, and sometimes nothing at all,” they point out.

“We cannot fully explain what is happening here. It is most likely a very unusual neutron star, but we cannot rule out other possibilities“, they warn.

The strange radio signal is a mystery

The scientists, whose study was published in the journal Nature, called this signal ASCAP J1935+2148Because it was discovered using the CSIRO ASKAP radio telescope in Australia, which has a wide field of view. There, they were looking for pulsars when they noticed the intermittency.

“Signal It jumped because it is made up of “circularly polarized” radio waves, meaning the direction of the waves is spiral They explained that the signal travels through space.

See also  Thousands of GPS data reveal an earlier stage announcing great earthquakes | Sciences

After identifying it, they monitored it for several months, adding analysis from another, more sensitive radio telescope, MeerKAT, in South Africa. And so they confirmed it It has the longest duration ever: 53.8 minutes.

in addition to, They were able to monitor it in 3 different states. Firstly, in Bright pulses are linearly polarized Which lasted between 10 and 15 seconds; after, In circularly polarized pulses are much weaker Which lasted only 370 milliseconds; while In his third case, there was no pulse.

Astronomers hypothesize that “these different modes, and the switching between them, could result from the interaction of complex magnetic fields and plasma flows from the same source with strong magnetic fields in the surrounding space.”

Although similar patterns have been observed before from neutron stars, there was no signal as long as ASKAP J1935+2148, affecting what is known so far about them.

For now, they point it out It is possible that it is a slowly rotating neutron star, although they do not rule out that it is a white dwarf, which is a slowly moving star in the last years of its life.. But they need more research to find out what it really is.

“This being It could lead us to reconsider our decades-long understanding of neutron stars or white dwarfs“Particularly with regard to how radio waves are emitted and how they are populated within our galaxy,” they concluded.

Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top