Although astronomers for a long time wondered about the cause of brief radio waves from other galaxies, a group of researchers has now tracked down the source of a fast radio burst or FRB back to its source. Interestingly, the latest findings suggest that these bursts might originate from two entirely different phenomena.
In case you are wondering, prior to this discovery, scientists were able to identify the source galaxy once with repeating FRB 121102 that was generated from a highly active galaxy 2.5 billion light years away. However, the latest FRB came from a much bigger but relatively less active galaxy.
During the course of the research, the astronomers spotted the new FRB using Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder. The combined data from the 36 radio dishes spread across six kilometers helped the scientists to pinpoint the FRB’s location more accurately. The data revealed that the burst, named FRB 180924 came from a galaxy called DES J214425.25–405400.81 which is about 4 billion light-years away in the constellation Grus.
The scientists revealed that the home galaxy responsible for the FRB is located on the edge of a disk-shaped galaxy which is pretty inactive. While it’s unclear what caused the single burst, the researchers speculated that the FRB might have originated from neutron star mergers. Even if that’s the case, such events don’t occur that often to explain the number of previously observed radio bursts. At the moment, the scientists will conduct further research to understand the phenomena and they expect that telescopes around the world will be able to give a more accurate reason behind FRBs in the coming years.