via Live Science

Two international teams of astronomers have delineated the origin of the flashes produced in the famous 2018 fast radio burst known as “FRB20180916B” by examining them at the highest time resolution and the lowest possible frequencies.

These studies, published in Nature Astronomy and The Astrophysical Journal Letters, suggest that the explosions are occurring in a very small region near the surface of a neutron star that possibly orbits a massive star.

Although new mysteries also arise about these events.

The team led by researchers from McGill University and members of Canada’s Fast Radio Burst found that radio signals reach us at lower frequencies than scientists had previously realized.

In 2007, the first fast radio burst was discovered. It is not yet clear exactly what causes the gusts. Since 2020, scientists have suspected a connection with strongly magnetic neutron stars, called magnetars.

A magnetar is a type of neutron star powered by an extremely strong magnetic field. It is a variety of pulsar whose main characteristic is the expulsion, in a short period, of enormous amounts of high energy in the form of X-rays and gamma rays.

A university news release said the study focused on FRB20180916B, as the source has “attracted special attention due to its relative proximity to Earth and the fact that it emits FRBs at regular intervals.

Jason Hessels from the University of Amsterdam commented: “At different times, we see radio bursts with different frequencies.”

“Possibly the FRB is part of a binary star. If so, we would have a different view of the moments where these enormously powerful bursts are generated.”

In addition to records, observation also provides new insights. Thanks to this it was discovered that the low-level radio emission was quite “clean” and arrived later than the bursts at higher radio frequencies, determining that they travel at a different speed.