Fast Radio Burst (FRB):
The Astronomers of National Center of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR) in Pune and the University of California in the US have used the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to map the distribution of atomic hydrogen gas from the host galaxy of a Fast Radio Burst (FRB) for the first time.
- The first FRB was discovered in 2007, since when scientists have been working towards finding the source of their origin.
- Essentially, FRBs are bright bursts of radio waves (radio waves can be produced by astronomical objects with changing magnetic fields) whose durations lie in the millisecond-scale, because of which it is difficult to detect them and determine their position in the sky.
- These extraordinary events generate as much energy in a thousandth of a second as the Sun does in a year.
- Locating where these blasts are coming from, and in particular, what galaxies they originate from, is important in determining what kinds of astronomical events trigger such intense flashes of energy.
- One of the best-known fast radio bursts is FRB20180916B.
- This FRB was discovered in 2018 and is only 500 million light-years away from us in another galaxy.
- The FRB is the closest so far and has a burst pattern that repeats every 16 days: four days of bursts, 12 days of relative quiet.
- That predictability makes it an ideal object for researchers to study.