How can a fast radio burst be unique apart from the fact that it is repetitive? Ashley Strickland, the author of the article “What’s Sending Mysterious Repeating Fast Radio Bursts in Space?” published in CNN, talks about the different hypothesis and possible physical origins of these persisting fast radio burst that last only one millisecond. Fast radio bursts are nothing but common, therefore, FRB 121102 is the only known repeating radio burst that was first detected in 2012. Astronomers and scientists couldn’t find an explanation for the source of these fast radio burst. With newest detections (more details were published in the journal Nature) it has been said that it comes from a star-forming dwarf galaxy three billion light years away from the Earth. Furthermore, the amounts of energy emitted from our Sun every day is a million times less than the enormous amount of energy that the radio bursts emit each millisecond. The latest detections also discovered that the radio bursts are polarized – come from an environment with a great magnetic field – and are at higher frequencies than ever. When the radio waves pass through the magnetic field, they are twisted in a way called Faraday rotation; the stronger the magnetic field the greater the twists. Under those circumstances, astronomers were able to give two possible answers explaining the high magnetic field: a massive black hole in the galaxy or a powerful nebula.
Jason Hessels, study author and associate professor at the University of Amsterdam and ASTRON, described the possibilities. A massive black hole in the explains the repetitive radio bursts and the environment of the radio source. The only problem is that such a massive black hole exists in a dwarf galaxy. The powerful nebula, cloud of dust and gas, explains the persistent radio source indicating that astronomers believe that the bursts are “young”, therefore, how can a nebula be a million time more bright than the Crab galaxy that it is in our own galaxy.
The properties of the burst are being monitored using new radio telescopes. The observations will tell if the burst change over time or is one of the hypothesis is correct.