Previously this year, astronomers announced an astonishing finding. A fast radio burst dubbed FRB 121102 wasn’t just repeating, it was repeating on an observable cycle.
For approximately 67 days, the source is quiet. Then, for almost 90 days, it is on again, discharging millisecond radio flares continuously before falling silent back. And the full 157-day cycle repeats. What’s so intriguing at FRB 121102? Astronomers might have some answers. Here is what you need to know.
FRB 121102 is Acting Strange Again: What to Expect
Before FRB 121102’s cycle was discovered by Kaustubh Rajwade, an astronomer at the University of Manchester, and his team, the strange radio burst was already popular. It was known as the most active FRB found so far, sending repeated bursts several times since its discovery back in 2012.
On August 17, 2020, FRB 121102 sent 12 bursts, suggesting the source has hit an active phase again. According to the new team of astronomers, led by Pei Wang from the National Astronomy Observatory in China, the active period should end between August 31 and 9 September 2020. The team utilized the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope to monitor FRB 121102’s activity and realize a series of calculations.
Of course, it’s also possible the recent measurements need to be refined. Such a thing means that astronomers should continue to keep a watchful eye on FRB 121102.
More About FRBs
Fast Radio Bursts, also known as FRBs, are bursts of radio waves that are very fast, only a few milliseconds long, coming from galaxies billions of light-years away. The blasts are also mighty. They can discharge up to hundreds of millions of Suns.
Most of the time, the FRBs flare once, making them impossible to anticipate and challenging to trace. But a bunch of fast radio burst sources has been spotted repeating, and these could be one of the keys that supports astronomers’ research.
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