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Fast Radio Bursts (FRB)

Context:

A strange radio signal (called Fast Radio Bursts) has been detected in a galaxy several billion light-years from Earth, a recent study claimed.

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is an FRB?
  2. Why are they significant?

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.

-Source: Down to earth


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October 2022
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