The mystery of rapid radio bursts, FRBs (for Fast Radio Burst), is it about to be resolved? Astronomers were lucky enough to detect them from the Milky Way last April, as reported The Verge. And they think they have identified their origin. They would have been produced by a “zombie” star hidden in our galaxy. More precisely, it is a magnetar, a neutron star with a hyper dense magnetic field that forms when a star larger than the sun collapses on itself.
Phenomena observed since 2007
FRBs have been observed since 2007. They manifest themselves as a concentrate of waves, visible for a few milliseconds and generating phenomenal energy. The problem is, they have so far come from outside our galaxy. As they are ephemeral, this made them difficult to identify and analyze. This discovery in our Milky Way therefore allows us to advance a first hypothesis. The mechanisms of the phenomenon remain uncertain, however.
Astronomers will now focus on this magnetar, but also about thirty others that are known. They will also attempt to detect FRBs in other galaxies where magnetars are suspected. Three articles are published on this subject in the journal Nature.
Source: The Verge