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Fast Radio Burst

Prelims – Technology, Mains -GS3- Technology

1. Fast Radio Burst (FRB) is a source of radio waves that are believed to emanate from powerful astrophysical phenomena billions of light years away.

3. FRBs have likely happened for billions of years but were discovered in 2007 and only a few dozen of them were detected.

3. In 2019, FRB was tracked to its home galaxy by observing a repeating 16-day pattern in one of the bursts.

4. But causes of FRBs are not known as these bursts are rare, unusual and bright since they're visible from billions of light-years across space.

5. Until now FRBs were assumed to come from a cataclysmic event, such as the collision of stars.

6. The repeating pattern suggests that there might be a natural machine in the universe for pumping regular shrieks of radio energy across space.

Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)

1. CHIME is the largest radio telescope in the world which is carrying out CHEM – Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB).

2. It first spotted an FRB, known as FRB 180916.J0158+65, in 2019 and analyses of old data found more than one burst from FRB 180916.J0158+65.

3. This FRB was traced back to a relatively nearby spiral galaxy.

Observations

1. FRB goes through four-day cycles of regular activity, bleating out radio waves into space on an almost hourly basis.

2. Then it goes into a 12-day period of silence. Sometimes the source seems to skip its usual four-day awake periods or lets out only a single burst.

3. Though the pattern could not be understood, following conclusion may be derived:

a. In general, these patterns are often related to a spinning object or orbiting celestial bodies.

b. Such as Neutron stars often seem to strobe regularly from the perspective of X-ray detectors on Earth, because of hot spots on their surface spin in and out of view like a lighthouse beacon.

c. Tiny planets may dim the light of the stars they orbit every time they pass between that star and Earth.

d. Such patterns of FRB tend to indicate rotation. But it is not known if this pattern governs all FRBs or just some of them.

Source: space.com