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Fast Radio Bursts (FRB)

Context:

Recently, scientists are trying to understand a new aspect of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), which are mysterious radio signals coming from distant galaxies. Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), which is scheduled to launch in the early 2030s, will aid in studying FRBs and mysterious radio signals.

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is an FRB?
  2. Why are they significant?
  3. Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA): An Overview

What is an FRB?

  • Since the first FRB was spotted in 2007, researchers have been trying to determine where they came from.
  • FRBs are essentially brilliant radio wave bursts (radio waves can be produced by astronomical objects with changing magnetic fields).
  • The X-ray component of the simultaneous bursts was detected by several satellites, including NASA’s Wind mission; in addition, a NASA-funded project called Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE2) also detected the radio burst;
  • However, because of their millisecond durations, it is challenging to detect them and determine their position in the sky.

Why are they significant?

  • First noticed in 2018 by the Canadian observatory the waves have created ripples across the globe for one reason — they arrive in a pattern.
  • This gave birth to theories that they could be from an alien civilization.
  • Initially, it was believed that the collision of black holes or neutron stars triggers them.
  • But the discovery of repeating FRBs debunked the theory of colliding objects.

Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA): An Overview

  • Definition: LISA stands for Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, and it is a collaborative project led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
  • Purpose: LISA is designed to serve as a space-based gravitational wave observatory, with the primary objective of detecting and studying gravitational waves.
  • Detection Method: LISA achieves this by measuring the tiny variations in the distances between three spacecraft positioned in a triangular formation. These variations are caused by the passage of gravitational waves through space.
  • Cosmic Insights: This space-based observatory is expected to provide valuable insights into various cosmic events, including the mergers of massive black holes and other astrophysical phenomena.
  • Contribution to Understanding: The data and observations from LISA are poised to significantly contribute to our understanding of the universe, shedding light on the fundamental forces and events that shape our cosmos.

-Source: Indian Express


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