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Home / Science / Astronomers discovered a relatively close magnetic short, intense radio explosion in the Milky Way

Astronomers discovered a relatively close magnetic short, intense radio explosion in the Milky Way



Magnetar in Outburst

The artist’s impression of a magnet when released, shows complex magnetic structure and beam emission, here imagined as following a shell crack. Credit: McGill University’s Graphic Design Team

The proximity of the high-energy pulses suggests that magnetic fields could be the source of some fast radio explosions.

New data from a team of Canadian-led astronomers, including researchers from the McGill Space Institute and McGill University’s Department of Physics, makes it clear that magnetic fields – a sort of neutron star is believed to have extremely strong magnetic fields – possibly the source of some rapid radio bursts (FRBs). Although much research has been done to explain these mysterious phenomena, their origins are so far elusive and the subject of some debate.

First time detected an intense radio explosion from a Galactic magnet

On April 28, 2020, a group of about 50 students, postdocs and professors from Canada’s Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) Fast Radio Burst Collaboration detected an unreasonable high-intensity radio explosion. usually emitted from an internal magnet Galaxy. In a study published today in nature, they point out that the intensity of the radio explosion was three thousand times greater than the intensity of any of the magnetic fields measured so far, suggesting the theory that the magnetic fields are the source of at least some FRBs. .

Pragya Chawla, one of the study co-authors and a senior doctoral student in the Department of Physics at McGill.

Competitive theories about the origin of the FRB

The FRB was first discovered over a decade ago. Originally thought to be strange events, then astronomers have discovered that some explosions emit intense radio waves – more intense than the energy produced by the Sun in millions to billions of years – repeating fact.

One theory that has hypothesized the FRB is that out-of-galaxies – microscopic magnetic neutron stars sometimes burst to release enormous amounts of energy.

Ziggy Pleunis, a senior graduate student in McGill’s Department of Physics and one of the co-authors of the new study. “Furthermore, the magnetic field theory is not supported by observations of the magnetic fields in our galaxy because they are found to have much lower intensity than the energy released by the outer-galactic FRBs until now on.”

Magnetar origins for all FRBs remain to be confirmed

“However, given the large energy and activity gap between the brightest and most active FRB sources and what is observed for magnetic fields, perhaps the younger, more energetic and active magnetic fields More positive is needed to explain all FRB observations, ”said Dr. Paul Scholz from the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto.

Magnetic smoking gun evidence for some FRBs will come from the simultaneous detection of an out-of-galaxy radio explosion and an X-ray explosion. However, this may only be possible. for nearby FRBs. Luckily, CHIME / FRB is detecting these in good numbers.

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Reference: “A millisecond radio explosion from a Galactic magnet” by CHIME / FRB Collaboration, November 4, 2020, nature.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-020-2863-y

The research is funded by:

Project CHIME / FRB is funded by the Innovation Fund Canada (CFI), the Provinces of British Columbia and Québec, and the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. Additional support is provided by the Canadian Institute of Advanced Studies (CIFAR), McGill University and the McGill Space Institute through the Trottier Family Foundation and the University of British Columbia. CHIME is funded by the CFI Leading Edge Fund and contributions from the provinces of British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario. The Dunlap Institute is funded by a grant established by the David Dunlap family and the University of Toronto. Research at the Perimeter Institute is supported by the Government of Canada through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and by the Province of Ontario through the Department of Research & Innovation. The National Radio Astronomical Observatory is a National Science Foundation facility operated under a partnership agreement of the Associated Universities, Inc.

Additional funds were received from Fonds de Recherche Nature et Technologie Québec (FRQNT), Killam Scholarship, Discovery Grant NSERC, CIFAR, Center FRQNT de Recherche en Astrophysique du Quebec (CRAQ), Canadian Research Chair program , NSF, Lorne Trottier President for Astrophysics & Cosmology, Outstanding Professor James McGill, NSERC Discovery Grant, Gerhard Herzberg Prize, R. Howard Webster Foundation Scholarship from CIFAR, Post-Advanced Fellowships Doctor Banting, NSF Center for Borders Physics, Ontario Research Foundation —Research Excellence Program (ORF-RE), Simons Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Schulich Graduate Fellowship from McGill University, Dunlap Fellowship and a NSERC Postdo PhD Fellowship.

An introduction to the collaboration of CHIME Fast Radio Burst

CHIME / FRB is a collaboration of more than 50 scientists led by McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and National Research Council of Canada (NRC). A $ 16 million investment for CHIME was provided by the Innovation Fund Canada and the governments of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, with additional funding from the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Scientific Research Council. Nature and Engineering and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The telescope is located in the Okanagan Valley mountains of British Columbia at NRC’s Dominion Radio Astrophysics Observatory near Penticton. CHIME is an official route finder of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1821, McGill is Canada’s premier post-secondary school. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 academic programs and more than 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 graduate students. McGill attracts students from more than 150 countries around the world, 12,800 international students of the school, accounting for 31% of the total students. More than half of McGill students require that their first language is not English, including about 19% of our students who speak French as their native language.




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