Scientists reveal source of radio bursts 3 bn light years away: Is it black hole, nebula or aliens?

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Scientists and astrologers have considered everything, from aliens to dwarf galaxy, while researching on the repeated mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs) coming from more than three billion light-years away. Recently, it has been revealed that the source of these radio bursts is actually a dense stellar core called a neutron star near an extraordinarily powerful magnetic field.

A fast radio burst is a brief pulse of radio waves having the energy of 500 million suns. It is said that if humans were able to see these waves, the sky would have appeared like a disco ball. FRBs can give off more energy in a fraction of a second than the sun does in hours, days or weeks.

Also read: Scientists find dwarf galaxy to be the source of mysterious Fast Radio Bursts

These radio bursts have been baffling researchers since 2007 when the pulses were first detected. It is estimated that there are 10,000 fast radio bursts happening per day.

Probable hypotheses

Now, researchers have come up with two hypotheses to explain the origin of the FRBs. When FRBs pass through the magnetic field, they get twisted following the Faraday rotation. The stronger the magnetic field, the greater the twist.

Researchers believe that the dense stellar core, which has an extraordinarily powerful magnetic field, is either located in proximity to a massive black hole in a dwarf galaxy or a nebula. However, scientists are not sure how such a massive black hole would exist in a dwarf galaxy.

The second hypothesis also has its drawbacks. If the black hole exists in a nebula, it explains the strength of the magnetic field and why researchers think that the source is 'young'. However, Jason Hessels, Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam, is still not convinced. He argues that this nebula has to be million times brighter than the Crab nebula in our own galaxy. "How can a nebula be that bright?" he argues.

Is it aliens?

What is more intriguing is that scientists are not dismissing the ET theory completely and believe that the source might be something completely new.

Last year, in a study, Harvard researchers, Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb suggest that aliens may actually co-exist with Fast Radio Bursts(FRBs). According to them, FRBs are produced by power leakages from interstellar battleships in distant galaxies. Although this theory seems far-fetched, it has grabbed the attention of many people around the world.

With inputs from IANS

This article was first published on January 11, 2018