Capturing millisecond space radio bursts is difficult enough, let alone to determine their origin. But that's exactly what astronomers did for the first time in history.
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Finding the sources of spaceflashes has already been discovered, but locating the exact point of origin has not yet been successful. This is exactly what the Australian square kilometer array Pathfinder Radio Telescope in Western Australia has achieved.
The single radio burst was called FRB 180924. FRB stands for Fast Radio Bursts.
The History of Fast Radio Bursts
"This is a great breakthrough the field has been waiting for since astronomers discovered fast radio bursts," said Keith Bannister, senior study author and senior research engineer at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency.
FRBs were first discovered not long ago in 2007, and since then astronomers have been looking for more radio bursts. Since then, a total of 85 have been discovered, some of which are repeated in the same place.
FRBs are fast and hard to track, but Bannister's team has found a way to freeze and save data immediately after telescopes detect the outbreak.
How did the team discover the origin?
The team created a map from the data of the collected discoveries, which eventually indicated the origin. It's a galaxy 3.6 billion light-years away.
It takes a second to reach this number.
Bannister rightly boasts: "If we were standing on the moon and looking with such precision at the earth, we could not only tell from which city the outbreak came, but from which postcode – and even from which city block . "
When the team looked at their data, it found that the single eruption came from a huge galaxy that does not produce many stars. Repeated outbreaks, on the other hand, come from a smaller galaxy that forms many stars.
Adam Deller, author of the study and adjunct professor at the Center for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology, said, "This suggests that fast bursts of radio can be generated in a variety of environments or in seemingly unique situations. Previously by ASKAP detected bursts are generated by a mechanism other than the repeater. "
The still unanswered question is: Why do they occur?
The discovery of the position of the burst is a step in the right direction as it sheds more light on our understanding of them.