We’ve heard a lot about FBRs lately, but we don’t know much about them. If we learn something new every day, we “find” something new every day.
According to Space.com, astronomers have discovered a “cycle of activity” in terms of increasing the number of RBFs or rapid radio bursts for those who do not know what it means. RBFs are essentially flashes of light that generate a lot of energy when they occur. When I say “a lot”, I mean it.
Although many RBFs have been discovered over time, we are not sure where they come from or what really motivates them. A new study of a particular RBF is very fascinating. It was recently published in the “Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society” and has a lot of interesting things to say. This study is about the RBF known as 121102. The FRB 121102 seems to have a 157-day activity cycle.
This RBF is present for about 90 days and then disappears for about 67 days, depending on which team is working on it. The research on this specific RBF has been done with the Lovell telescope and really takes us in a direction we need to go. The more we learn about these best friends, the more we can learn in the future.
The abstract of the pre-print of the study on this as noted above goes as follows:
The discovery that at least some rapid radio-wave bursts (RWB) are repeated has ruled out catastrophic events as precursors to these specific bursts. FRB 121102 is the recurrent FRB studied, but despite extensive source surveillance, no underlying pattern of repetition has yet been established. Here we present the results of a radio surveillance campaign of FRB 121102 with the 76 m Lovell telescope. Based on the detected pulses in the Lovell data together with the pulses from the literature, we report the detection of the periodic behavior of the source over the five-year period of the data. We assume that the source is currently “off” and should be “on” for the estimated range of MJD 59002 – 59089 (2020-06-02 to 2020-08-28). This result, together with the recently observed periodicity of another recurring WFD, underlines the need for long-term monitoring of high-yield recurring WFDs. Using simulations, we show that it takes at least 100 hours of telescope time to detect recurring FRBs with a cadence of 0.5-3 days to detect the periodicity in the range of 10-150 days. If the period is real, we show that repeated FRBs can have a large range in their activity periods, which can be difficult to reconcile with the precession models of neutron stars.
Even Forbes recently addressed this issue, noting that this particular FRB was already noticed in 2014. It was the only signal to have occurred in this way more than once since 2016. Since then, although more recurrent FRBs and things of this type have been discovered, it remains very prominent for this reason.
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