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A repeating fast radio burst from an extragalactic source detected

ANI  |  Washington D.C. [U.S.] 

Newly-detected bursts of radio waves indicate the presence of an environment near a massively huge black hole or inside a nebula of exceptionally extraordinary power. The unprecedentedly potent magnetic field in the source's environment could be the reason, researchers speculate.

Researchers Victoria Kaspi and Shriharsh Tendulkar carried out the study for a year. They named the as FRB 121102 and pinpointed the location of this enigmatic source of such power field.

They reported that it is located in a dwarf in its star-forming region, more than 3 billion light-years away from Earth. The huge distance implied the unparalleled amount of in each burst which is roughly around as much in a single millisecond as the Sun releases in an entire day.

Now, with the help of data provided by in and Green Telescope in West Virginia, the researchers determined that the radio bursts are highly polarized. This new information led to some new revelations.

The of McGill Space Institute, Kapsi tells about his wonder at the results. "I could not believe my eyes when my colleagues emailed the results around. This sort of enormous Faraday rotation is extremely rare. Once we digested it, we realised it was a huge clue about where this bizarre source resides".

The phenomenon known as Faraday rotation could be the reason. The effect happens when polarized radio waves pass through a region with a magnetic field, the gets ''twisted''. The results are the stronger the magnetic field, the greater the twisting. The research also specified that the radio burst of FRB 121102 is one of the largest ever measured amounts of twisting. It led to conclusions that the bursts are passing through an extraordinarily strong magnetic field in the dense plasma.

One of the possible explanations for such hugely magnetized field is that FRB 121102 is located in the proximity of a black hole. Another such black hole is only been found in the centre of Milky Way Another possible explanation is FRB 121102 is located amidst a dead star or in a powerful nebula which is an interstellar cloud of gas and dust.

Shiriharsh Tendulkar said, "The CHIME telescope in Penticton, British Columbia, should be an excellent instrument for detecting fast radio bursts and studying their properties". He insists that new telescopes could provide answers to more fundamental questions about FRBs.

He added, "When it comes online in 2018, it should be capable of detecting between a few and a few dozen FRBs every day".

The research was conducted by Other supporters were the in Astrophysics & Cosmology, the Research Chairs program, the Natural Sciences and Research Council of Canada, the for Advanced Research, and the de Recherche en Astrophysique du

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 20:05 IST