High energy radio burst waves are detected coming from a magnetar within the Milky Way.
Over the past years, scientists have detected the fast radio bursts coming from distant galaxies. These flashes produce as high energy in milliseconds as the Sun produces in a day.
An astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, Ben Margalit says, “When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘No way. Too good to be true. Just, wow. It’s really an incredible discovery.”
According to the Astronomer’s Telegram, researchers first observed a powerful strong outburst from an active magnetar about thirty thousand light-years away, dubbed SGR 1935+2154. The radio telescope in British Columbia, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment or CHIME, observed a burst of energy 30 decillion. The Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 or STARE 2 observed an energy burst of 220 decillions.
The radio burst observed by the STARE 2 is 4000 times powerful than the one observed in Milky Way. Caltech astronomer, Vikram Ravi, says, “This thing put out, in a millisecond, as much energy as the sun puts out in 100 seconds.”
Caltech radio astronomer, Christopher Bochenek says, “I was basically in shock. It took me a while, and a call to a friend, to calm me down enough to go and make sure that this thing was actually real.” He was a part of the team of STARE 2.
Geoffrey Bower says, “The luminosity implied by the STARE analysis is really astounding. It does suggest that bursts from magnetars could be detected at enormous distances.”
Do Magnetars Solve The Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts?
This discovery could explain the origin of the fast radio wave bursts. “This new discovery, if it holds up, is a proof that magnetars can produce the relevant kind of luminosities,” Bower explains. And adds, “There may very well be other mechanisms or sources at work producing FRBs. We see a lot of different phenomenologies . . . it’s not necessary that it be explained with one model.”