Christopher Bochenek, whose Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE2) in the USA was one of the teams to spot the burst, said that in approximately a millisecond the magnetar emitted as much energy as the Sun's radio waves do in 30 seconds. "But with more events, we would be able to tell exactly how lucky we... were".
For a long time their origin remained uncertain, but now three separate studies on a fast radio burst named FRB 200428, has pinpointed the emitter as a magnetar in our galaxy suggesting that powerful objects of this type are the main source of other discovered bursts. Magnetars have become the most likely candidate since then, given theoretical work suggesting their magnetic fields might work like engines producing the powerful cosmic blasts.
Astronomers Trace the Origins of Radio Pulses in Our Galaxy
The source magnetar, a known object, has the slightly unwieldy designation of SGR 1935+2154.
But on April 28, astronomers using the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope in Penticton, B.C., and the Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE2) telescope captured an FRB burst from the same region of the sky. But the consensus is they are formed within some of the most extreme conditions possible in our universe - with potential explanations ranging from dying stars to alien technology.
A file photo of a Fast Radio Burst detected from space.More news: Trump campaign to file lawsuit challenging Nevada vote
A magnetar is a type of isolated neutron star, the crushed, city-size remains of a star many times more massive than our Sun.
The announcement was significant because until now, there has been no observational evidence directly linking FRBs with magnetars.
Astronomers have found the source of powerful radio bursts in the universe. The discovery already made waves in the astronomy community earlier this year, with early scientific reports of the connection posted online and covered in the media.The researchers' results have now been reviewed by other scientists and are being formally presented in the journal Nature this week. These radio bursts happen in a couple of milliseconds.More news: Have Foo Fighters Just Teased New Music?
Such stars are known to produce brief, intense flares that emit rapid bursts of gamma rays and X-rays.
Known as fast radio bursts, or FRBs, the radio waves reportedly came from what has been called a "zombie" star. "Compared to [other] FRBs, it's in our backyard, so we can study it in much more detail". The radio burst they examined was thousands of times stronger than anything else in the Milky Way, he said.
"The bursts seen by NICER and Fermi during the storm are clearly different in their spectral characteristics from the one associated with the radio blast", said George Younes, a researcher at George Washington University in Washington and the lead author of two papers analyzing the burst storm that are now undergoing peer review. This discovery only solves part of the FRB puzzle, but it is a sign that we may soon be able to piece together the rest of the puzzle.More news: MacBook Models Based on Apple Silicon to Launch Q2 2021