Ten years after scientists first detected rare and rapid radio bursts, its source has finally been traced. It was found that it originated from a distant older dwarf galaxy over three billion light-years away from Earth.
Over the past decade, the mysterious radio burst has puzzled space scientists after no apparent sources have been traced. This fueled speculations and rumors to emerge, linking the unknown radio burst to an out-of-this-world phenomenon.
After a rigorous researcher, astronomers from the University of California-Berkeley were able to pinpoint the source of the burst. UC-Berkeley’s astronomers did this by using a software that analyzes data in real-time after the burst reoccurred in 2012.
Following the reoccurrence of the burst in 2012, scientists fine-tuned the software, which resulted in a promising progress in the research. They use the Karl Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico and the Arecibo disk positioned in Puerto Rico.
With the VLA, scientists have detected at least nine bursts in just one month. This technology enabled scientists to detect the radio burst at a speed of a tenth of an arcsecond.
The extremely rapid radio burst had many astronomers mystified because of its rarity and possible source. A radio burst had to be that powerful to even reach the Earth.
Relevance To Space Research
Casey Law, a UC-Berkeley astronomer, said that this new discovery provides more understanding of the energetic events in the dwarf galaxies where the first radio burst have been traced.
“It could be created by a superluminous supernova or a long gamma ray burst, and then later on, as it evolves and its rotation slows down a bit, it produces these fast radio bursts as well as continuous radio emission powered by that spindown. Later on in life, it looks like the magnetars we see in our galaxy, which have extremely strong magnetic fields but rotate more like ordinary pulsars,” Law said.
But apart from pinpointing the source of the radio burst, VLA findings also provided new discoveries about the cosmos. It also provides a possible answer on what could possibly generate this rare cosmic occurrence.