Fast Radio Burst, this radio signal from space has confused astronomers

Since their discovery i Fast Radio Burst they continue to confuse astronomers, and just when we think we are starting to understand something “anomalous” sources are discovered, which force us to review what we have learned so far. FRBs are nothing more than transient radio signals about which much speculation has been made, and as often happens, alongside scientific theories on natural origin there have been interpretations related to their possible artificiality which are still the subject of discussion.

Yet in the last 15 years hundreds of Fast Radio Bursts have been identified which for the most part were unique, however some of them showed a repetition, which fortunately allowed us to identify their origin, or at least the direction of arrival. . We thus understood that in about 20 cases analyzed, their origin coincides with magnetars, that is, neutron stars characterized by a powerful magnetic field, whose emissions can also reach us in the form of radio frequencies.

28 Jan

But then FRB 20200120E arrived, a phenomenon that repeated itself allowing us to discover its probable origin. At this point things took an unexpected turn, since the radio signal appears to come from a globular cluster located in the Bode Galaxyin the constellation of Ursa Major.

As far as we know, magnetars are not supposed to exist inside old star clusters like the one in the galaxy above, so we are trying to better understand the meaning of these data. If the origin were once again a magnetar, then we should review our knowledge about the formation of these celestial bodies, or we could be faced with a unique and unusual phenomenon.


Franz Kirsten of Chalmers University of Technology, one of the authors of the study published in Nature, believes that “FRB 20200120E originates from a highly magnetized neutron star formed by the accretion induced collapse of a white dwarf or the merger of compact stars into a binary system”. If the theory proved correct, we would be faced with the first case of a white dwarf star that, after having engulfed a companion star, or just swallowed enormous quantities of gas from a star, would have collapsed into a magnetar.

At the moment there are no certainties but only theories, and once again deep space teaches us that our understanding of the universe is only partial. The particularity of FRB 20200120E will obviously be the subject of other studies and there will be new theories on its origin, but we will talk about it again as soon as new theories are shared. Anyone who would like to consult the complete research, published last February 23 in the journal Nature, will find it in SOURCE.