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Space Science Technology

New Findings Deepen the Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts 43

An anonymous reader writes: Last week, it was reported that the mystery of fast radio bursts were solved, and that they were due to the merger of a neutron star with another collapsed object, well outside of our galaxy. However, not only was that analysis fundamentally flawed, but a new paper out today identifies fast radio bursts that repeat, a dealbreaker for the merger scenario. Instead, it's thought that these events come from the evolution of young neutron stars, as the data show an extragalactic but non-transient origin for these bursts. Planned follow-up observations plan on identifying the source locations as well as their true nature, and discerning whether all fast radio bursts have the same origin, or whether there are multiple different classes.
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New Findings Deepen the Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @04:37PM (#51624305)
    >> fast radio bursts that repeat, a dealbreaker for the merger scenario

    Do we know this isn't gravitational lensing? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_lens)
    • It would be obvious if the repeated results were from lensing since the signals would come from two different locations. Also, there might be some clue in the signal if it was just a repeat of the same event.

    • I have not seen any discussion on FRB with respect to lensing so I do not know whether gravitational lensing is involved. Increases in the number and effectiveness of observation tools over the next few years will provide a big enough sample of these events to start characterizing them better though.

      I think that in some sense this field is bigger than gravitational wave astronomy right now. It will be a while before the required new gravitational wave detectors find and locate many sources.

      The field of FRB'

    • Exactly, in fact there is vector that joins any two place in the universe that traverses each black hole's event horizon, they are universal information routers therefore a huge primary burst that is shielded by one black-hole will manifest as multiple smaller echoes as it is routed to the observer with time delays according to the individual path distances, accounting for the fact that there is also further shielding of some of the echoes by other bodies.
  • Feh, sounds like intergalactic war to me.
  • I'm not saying it is aliens, but it is aliens.

  • by volvox_voxel ( 2752469 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @06:13PM (#51625017)
    The internet was buzzing about a possible ET contact. Short radio bursts were detected from radio telescopes over multiple antennas over many years that had no natural explanations that researchers claim could only be man made or from an extra-terrestrial:

    http://www.newscientist.com/ar... [newscientist.com] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

    The paper from the actual researchers is far more guarded, and suggest that it may be EMI similar to Perytons, which are radio sources that appear to look like a pulsar signature.

    From Wikipedia - "In 2015, Perytons were found to be the result of premature opening of microwave oven doors at the Parkes Observatory. The microwave oven releases a frequency-swept radio pulse that mimics an FRB as the magnetron turns off.[2][10]"

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1503.0524... [arxiv.org]

    Here is a paper on Perytons, and their possible sources: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.5080... [arxiv.org]

    Here is a link on Pulsar physics, including a very basic back of the envelope derivation of the dispersion medium of pulsars. Apparently two pulses from a pulsar are detected a few milliseconds from one another, and stem from the mass difference between the electron and a proton and their interaction with interstellar space. Still trying to get a handle on this.. http://www.cv.nrao.edu/course/... [nrao.edu]

    Dispersion measure variations and their effect on precision pulsar timing: http://www.parkes.atnf.csiro.a... [csiro.au]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Apparently two pulses from a pulsar are detected a few milliseconds from one another...

      This is a slightly misleading way to think about it. What happens is this: the pulsar emits a single pulse, which contains radio waves at a range of frequencies. Radio waves passing through a plasma travel at slightly under the speed of light. The lower their frequency, the slower they go. So the highest-frequency part of the pulse arrives first, followed by the medium frequencies, then the low frequencies. It's not a matter of two separate pulses: there's still only a single pulse, but it's stretched

  • However, not only was that analysis fundamentally flawed...

    That's not possible. I read it on /.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead

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