We all have an idea about how big and full of mysteries is the Universe. But things become even more frustrating and, at the same time, exciting when we can’t figure out what happens at least in the tiny portion of space that we can glare at every night. Recently, ultra-fast bursts of radio energy have been illuminating the night sky, making the astronomers curious and eager to track down their source.
Although scientists know about the existence of FRBs (fast radio bursts) since over a decade ago, nobody has been able to explain what could trigger them. They do know, instead, that in those very brief moments (less than a second), the FRBs produce tremendous energy, much more than the Sun does in the same amount of time.
The source is a spiral galaxy
The recent FRB that is baffling the minds of scientists is called 180916.J0158+65, and it has been discovered by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) observatory, which is a radio telescope from Brittish Columbia.
A network of telescopes from Europe has been making further observations so that researchers have been able to create a high-resolution image of the location of the weird phenomenon. Thus, they concluded that its origin is a medium-sized spiral galaxy like our own, and it’s located very far away: around 500 million light-years from Earth.
The big mystery is yet to come
Despite the fact that astronomers have discovered the source of the FRBs, they found out something even more surprising: there couldn’t be detected any radio sources in the galaxy that can explain the FRBs themselves. Benito Marcote confirms this by stating:
This is completely different than the host and local environments of other localized FRBs,
While nobody can explain for the moment what’s going on out there, all we can do is wait and hope for new insights into the phenomenon to be made.
The new results have been published in the journal Nature.