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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Something quick

In a report published in the journal Nature the study of astrophysics, suggested that the explanation of the nature of fast radio pulses. The origin of such signals, scientists have tried to figure out in the last ten years. It seems that they are now closer than ever to solving the mystery.

The first fast pulse detected in 2001, a radio telescope “Parkes” State Association scientific and applied research Australia, data from which were processed only by 2007. Since confirmed the existence of 16 such radio pulses. Published study focuses on the last of them.

This outbreak, lasting milliseconds, resulted in the release into space of energy equivalent emitted by the Sun within a few tens of thousands of years radiation. The location of the source is unknown. A signal or other fast impulses, no longer observed.

The signal FRB (fast radio burst) 110523 was detected 23 may 2011 (hence the index). Scientists have found it with the help of specially developed algorithm among 40 terabytes of observational data of the radio telescope “green Bank” in West Virginia, conducted a total of 650 hours. From the entire array, the program allocates about six thousand suspicious signals, each of which astrophysicists have analyzed separately.

FRB 110523 attracted the attention of scientists for several reasons. Firstly, it is detected in the frequency range 700-900 megahertz, while the rest is in the interval 1,2-1,5 GHz. Secondly, managed to determine the dispersion (the difference between short-wave and long-wave parts, due to the loss of energy by radiation as it passes through matter). This allowed us to determine the distance from Earth to the signal source is six billion light-years.

Thirdly (and most importantly), FRB 110523 found two types of radiation polarization — circular and linear. Previously recorded 15 signals were purely circular polarization (the polarization is the direction of the oscillation vectors of the electric and magnetic fields of an electromagnetic wave). The nature of polarization can define the characteristics of substances with which this radiation interacted, through the Faraday effect, i.e. rotation of the plane of polarization of the electromagnetic wave during its propagation in the medium with a strong magnetic field.

The researchers believe that FRB 110523 passed through two highly magnetized region of space (probably with highly ionized matter). The first, estimated to be located at a distance of a few hundred thousand light years in the galaxy, containing the source for FRB 110523. The observed properties of the signal corresponds to its passage through the nebula with active star formation occurring or the surrounding area supernova.

According to scientists, this area of space may contain a source of fast pulse — magnetron or Blitzer. The first is a rapidly rotating neutron star (the remnant of a supernova explosion) with a strong magnetic field. So far found about 30 of these objects. Radiation could occur as a result of “zvezdnosti” oscillations in the surface layers of strongly magnetized young neutron stars.

Blitzer, invented specifically to explain the fast radio pulses, is a neutron star rotating so fast that centrifugal forces keep it from compressing into a black hole. Meanwhile, as energy losses, such an object still turns into a black hole, and the process of his falling matter at the event horizon (the surface bounding the black hole, which in the classical description unable to leave no body) is accompanied by powerful radiation, forming a rapid pulse.

Published study allows to draw some important conclusions. First, the rapid radio pulses are of natural origin, requiring, in particular, of alien civilizations. Secondly, with high confidence clear conditions for the space surrounding the sources of rapid pulses. Thirdly, the sources of fast radio pulses can be localized within galaxies, but not in the space between them. Fourthly, it is now easier to select the most promising candidates for sources of the now not so mysterious signals. They can be single objects, in particular, magnetars, and not the colliding pair of neutron stars or white dwarfs.

While the authors are cautious and prefer not to disseminate the results of research on FRB 110523 other fast radio pulses. Estimated daily observable part of the Universe occur several thousands of such signals. Observation of fast pulses will continue next year under construction in British Columbia CHIME radio telescope (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment). It will allow you to scan more than half of the firmament and the calculated frequencies to detect every day, dozens of fast radio pulses.


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