Astronomers have found an activity cycle that is happening in a fast radio burst, which might be a hint about the mysterious phenomena.
What are FRBs?
FRBs or Fast Radio Bursts are flashes of light, which come with a series wallop releasing in a few milliseconds just as much energy as the sun of our Earth does in a century. Researchers firstly spotted an FRB back in 2007, and the reason behind these eruptions is still unknown. Of course, there are potential explanations, from aliens to merging super-dense neutron stars.
Up until now, scientists have found more than 100 FRBs, and most of them are one-offs, which means that they’re flaring up just one time. At the beginning of the year, astronomers stated that there is one member of the repeater class, which is called FRB 180916.J0158+65, which seems to have a 16–day activity cycle. Apparently, it fires of burst for four days, and then nothing happens for the next 12 days, and then it starts all over again with this pattern.
FRB 180916 was actually the first one that was known to have this kind of pattern. And now there is another one with the same pattern.
Researchers have monitored FRB 121102 with the help of the Lovell Telescope, which is about 76 meters, which helped them over the course of five years. They found a 175-day activity cycle. According to a new study, 121102 flares up for about 90 days, and then nothing happens for the next 67.
Right now, we’re not quite sure what’s the reason behind this cyclic activity, but there are some ideas. There might be a wobble in the rotational axis over a neutron star that’s known as magnetar. Or the reason might be the orbital motions of a neutron star in a binary system.