And he reappeared. The mysterious quick radio flash returns after two months of silence

Among the high-speed radio bursts discovered so far, astronomers' attention was particularly drawn to one particular signal, FRB 121102, discovered in 2012. This signal repeats regularly for 90 days and then disappears for the next 67 days.

When the signal appeared again and the data collected over the five years were analyzed, the astronomers noticed that it was a permanent 157-day cycle. This way, they should be able to tell when the signal will reappear.

Punctual to the day

According to calculations, a team of astronomers led by Marilyn Cruces of the Institute of Radio Astronomy Max Planck, after two months of silence, the signal FRB 121102 was re-registered. The results of the observations were described in an article already published on the scientific preprint portal arXiv.

We assume that the signal source will be active from July 9 to October 14, 2020, and then from December 18 to March 24, 2021, scientists report.

Due to this unusual cycle, the signal is tested by many research teams around the world. As reported by ScienceAlert , the current signal is also observed with the 500-meter Chinese radio telescope, which is currently the largest single-bay telescope on Earth.

What are fast radio flashes ?

FRB, or fast radio flashes, are short-term radio pulses up to several milliseconds long. It is not known yet what their source is. According to many astronomers, neutron stars are the likely source of the signals.

Based on the extremely short duration of the signal and its high brightness, I lean towards the theory that the source of FRBs are neutron stars with a very strong magnetic field

Says Kaustubh Rajwade of the University of Manchester.

FRB 121102 is emitted by a source in a dwarf galaxy more than 3 billion light-years away.

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And he reappeared. The mysterious quick radio flash returns after two months of silence


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