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  • richardmitnick 2:10 pm on March 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CHIME Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment -A partnership between the University of British Columbia Dunlap Institute/CHIME Collaboration at University of Toronto McGill University Yale and , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts,   

    From Columbia University via WIRED: “Astronomers Think They Can Explain Mysterious Cosmic Bursts” 

    Columbia U bloc

    From Columbia University

    via

    Wired logo

    WIRED

    03.10.19
    Joshua Sokol

    CHIME Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment -A partnership between the University of British Columbia, Dunlap Institute/CHIME Collaboration at University of Toronto, McGill University, Yale and the National Research Council in British Columbia, at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, British Columbia, CA

    Between this past Christmas and New Year’s Day, Brian Metzger realized he had his home to himself—no emails coming in, no classes to teach—and maybe, just maybe, the glimmer of an answer to one of astronomy’s most stubborn mysteries.

    1
    Brian Metzger and his wife, Stacey Thomas, at the 2019 Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony, where he was recognized with the New Horizons in Physics Prize. Breakthrough Prize.

    He chased hard after the lead, worried a little error could unravel everything or that someone else would put together the same pieces first. “You’re racing a little bit against the clock, because other people probably see this as well,” said Metzger, an astrophysicist at Columbia University. “It can kind of become all-consuming.”

    Along with scores of other researchers around the world, Metzger has spent the last few years brainstorming ways to understand fast radio bursts (FRBs). These are millisecond-long blips of intense and unexplained radio signals that pop up all over the sky, temporarily outshining radio pulsars in our galaxy despite being perhaps a million times farther away. Before 2013, many astrophysicists doubted that they even existed. In the years since, researchers have invented dozens of possible explanations for what might be causing them. One catalog counts 48 separate theories, a tally that until recently outnumbered the events themselves.

    An FRB theory needs two parts, roughly akin to a suspect and a weapon in a cosmic game of Clue. The suspect is an astrophysical beast that can unleash vast sums of energy. The weapon is something that will transform that energy into a bright, head-scratchingly unusual radio signal.

    Now Metzger and his colleagues think they have reconstructed the crime scene. Earlier this month they released a paper that sketched out a way for FRBs to arise from explosions in regions of space cluttered with dense clouds of particles and magnetic fields.

    The model favors, but doesn’t require, a magnetar as the source of the explosions. A magnetar is a young neutron star that sometimes burps out charged particles in a supersize version of the coronal mass ejections that erupt on the sun. Each new blast plows into the surrounding clutter. When it does, it creates a shock wave, which in turn beams a short, laserlike flash of radio waves halfway across the universe.

    “In just very general terms, this makes a ton of sense,” said James Cordes, an astrophysicist at Cornell University, adding that while further details still need to be worked out, “I would say it’s a good horse to bet on.”

    What the astronomers really like, though, is that Metzger’s theory generates very specific predictions for what future FRBs should look like, predictions that will soon be put to make-or-break tests. A new Canadian radio telescope called CHIME is expected to find between one and 10 FRBs each day after it becomes fully operational later this year. During initial testing last summer it detected a baker’s dozen of the bursts, results that were published in January. “I think that over the next year or so we’ll be able to test this very well,” said Shriharsh Tendulkar, an astrophysicist at McGill University and a member of CHIME’s FRB team.

    At Shock Wave Speed

    The theory developed by Metzger and his colleagues Ben Margalit and Lorenzo Sironi builds on the biggest break in the FRB case so far. In 2016, a team led by Laura Spitler at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, published their results on the first-ever FRB known to repeat. Previously, each event had been a one-off. As a consequence, astronomers were unable to track down where they were in the sky, so while they suspected FRBs came from far beyond our galaxy, they knew nothing about where. But this one blared out burst after enigmatic burst at unpredictable intervals.

    Radio astronomers soon pinpointed its origin to a small, misshapen dwarf galaxy. Trying to squeeze out every clue from these radio signals, they found that it came from a dense region of plasma gripped by extreme magnetic fields. They also found that the burst was surrounded by a fainter, constant radio glow. And last November, the astronomer Jason Hessels (with Spitler and others) noticed something else strange: Each split-second burst actually contains a few sub-bursts that, without fail, shift downward from higher to lower radio frequencies.

    To Metzger’s team, this last clue seemed oddly familiar. In the 1950s, physicists studied the blast waves of nuclear weapons to estimate their yields. In these models, the shock fronts from nuclear explosions sweep up more gas as they expand outward. That extra weight slows down the shock, and because it slows, radiation released from the shock front shifts downward in frequency thanks to the Doppler effect.

    Metzger had been thinking this blast wave effect might hint at the true nature of FRBs when suddenly, in early January, the haul from the CHIME telescope included another repeating event. This one’s repeating radio signals showed the same downward frequency drift. “The idea was there with the first repeater,” Metzger said, “but seeing that feature of FRBs reinforced sort of put me on overdrive.”

    Now Metzger, Margalit and Sironi have released their full model, based mostly on explaining the ins and outs of the first repeater. Imagine a magnetar, a city-sized neutron star forged in a supernova only a few years or decades earlier, its surface roiling and churning. Like the sun on a bad day, this young magnetar releases occasional flares that blast out electrons, positrons and maybe heavier ions at near the speed of light.

    When this material launches, it runs into older particles vomited out during previous flares. Where the new ejecta meets the older debris, it piles up into a shock, inside which magnetic fields soar. As the shock presses outward, the electrons inside gyrate around along magnetic field lines, and that motion produces a burst of radio waves. That signal then shifts from higher to lower frequencies as the shock slows. (And presumably, far away and eons later, Earth’s astronomers get a very exciting email alert from radio telescopes.)

    3
    Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Quanta Magazine

    All this is still tenuous, but the idea is ready to pass or flunk based on what happens next in the FRB story. It’s the most quantitative, deeply thought-out scenario yet. “They’ve done the most-detailed calculations, and they’ve been able to make the most-specific observational predictions,” Spitler said.

    Metzger’s model predicts a number of specific features that future FRBs should share. For one: All future FRBs should follow the same downward shift in frequency. They might show gamma-ray or X-ray emission, which astronomers such as Spitler have already started to hunt for. They should live in galaxies that are forming lots of new stars and producing fresh magnetars. And when they do repeat, they should take breaks from bursting after astronomers observe a major flare. At that point, the system is so choked with material that subsequent flashes can’t make it out.

    Metzger’s model now faces a crowded bracket of other, still-viable theories. FRBs could be a consequence of merging neutron stars, which lit up both telescopes and gravitational-wave detectors for the first time in 2017.

    https://sciencesprings.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/from-ucsc-a-uc-santa-cruz-special-report-neutron-stars-gravitational-waves-and-all-the-gold-in-the-universe/

    Neutron stars might also make FRBs when they crash into other objects like black holes or white dwarfs, when they themselves collapse into black holes, or when their magnetic field lines are plucked by fierce winds of plasma.

    And it’s not even clear if FRBs all come from a single kind of event. While Metzger’s model has a “stranglehold” on observations of the first repeater, said the astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi, also at McGill, “I personally am always a little nervous when something is so tailored to one source.” Compared with the repeaters, perhaps one-off bursts come from entirely different sources. Or, as Spitler and others pointed out last November, all FRBs might turn out to repeat if astronomers only waited around for long enough.

    The data are about to pour in, ready to narrow the field. During the past five months, while CHIME has been in a commissioning phase, researchers have found more bursts that they haven’t publicly released. Team members hope to start the official observing run in April. The Australian Square Kilometer Array, a network of 36 radio dishes in western Australia, is also trawling for more examples and working to pinpoint their exact homes. And within a few years, so will HIRAX: an array of dishes in South Africa, Botswana and Rwanda that will hunt FRBs in an environment free from ambient radio signals.

    After years of sparse data and theoretical daydreaming, a solution finally seems within reach. In mid-February, FRB-curious astronomers met in Amsterdam to share new, please-don’t-post-this-on-Twitter discoveries and discuss the idea that neutron stars are in some way responsible. “That is what is so nice about his theory coming out just recently,” wrote Amanda Weltman, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Cape Town, in an email. “It is a perfect time.” The researchers debated Metzger’s model, presented at the meeting by his coauthor Margalit, but wouldn’t yet commit to it. “We are on the verge of convergence,” Tendulkar said. “Let’s just put it that way.”

    See the full article here .

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    Columbia U Campus

    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:00 am on January 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts,   

    From CERN: “Solving the next mystery in astrophysics” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    From CERN

    1
    Stellar stats for FRB’s

    CSIRO/Parkes Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia

    UTMOST-Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) a radio telescope operating at 843 mhz, operated by the school of physics of U Sidney, AU

    Green Bank Radio Telescope, West Virginia, USA, now the center piece of the GBO, Green Bank Observatory, being cut loose by the NSF


    NAIC Arecibo Observatory operated by University of Central Florida, Yang Enterprises and UMET, Altitude 497 m (1,631 ft).

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    In 2007, while studying archival data from the Parkes radio telescope in Australia, Duncan Lorimer and his student David Narkevic of West Virginia University in the US found a short, bright burst of radio waves. It turned out to be the first observation of a fast radio burst (FRB), and further studies revealed additional events in the Parkes data dating from 2001. The origin of several of these bursts, which were slightly different in nature, was later traced back to the microwave oven in the Parkes Observatory visitors centre. After discarding these events, however, a handful of real FRBs in the 2001 data remained, while more FRBs were being found in data from other radio telescopes.

    The cause of FRBs has puzzled astronomers for more than a decade. But dedicated searches under way at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) [above], among other activities, are intensifying the search for their origin.

    CHIME Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment -A partnership between the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, McGill University, Yale and the National Research Council in British Columbia, at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, British Columbia, CA

    Recently, while still in its pre-commissioning phase, CHIME detected no less than 13 new FRBs – one of them classed as a “repeater” on account of its regular radio output – setting the field up for an exciting period of discovery.

    Dispersion

    All FRBs have one thing in common: they last for a period of several milliseconds and have a relatively broad spectrum where the radio waves with the highest frequencies arrive first followed by those with lower frequencies. This dispersion feature is characteristic of radio waves travelling through a plasma in which free electrons delay lower frequencies more than the higher ones. Measuring the amount of dispersion thus gives an indication of the number of free electrons the pulse has traversed and therefore the distance it has travelled. In the case of FRBs, the measured delay cannot be explained by signals travelling within the Milky Way alone, strongly indicating an extragalactic origin.

    The size of the emission region responsible for FRBs can be deduced from their duration. The most likely sources are compact km-sized objects such as neutron stars or black holes. Apart from their extragalactic origin and their size, not much more is known about the 70 or so FRBs that have been detected so far. Theories about their origin range from the mundane, such as pulsar or black-hole emission, to the spectacular – such as neutron stars travelling through asteroid belts or FRBs being messages from extraterrestrials.

    For one particular FRB, however, its location was precisely measured and found to coincide with a faint unknown radio source within a dwarf galaxy. This shows clearly that the FRB was extragalactic. The reason this FRB could be localised is that it was one of several to come from the same source, allowing more detailed studies and long-term observations. For a while, it was the only FRB found to do so, earning it the title “The Repeater”. But the recent detection by CHIME has now doubled the number of such sources. The detection of repeater FRBs could be seen as evidence that FRBs are not the result of a cataclysmic event, since the source must survive in order to repeat. However, another interpretation is that there are actually two classes of FRBs: those that repeat and those that come from cataclysmic events.

    Until recently the number of theories on the origin of FRBs outnumbered the number of detected FRBs, showing how difficult it is to constrain theoretical models based on the available data. Looking at the experience of a similar field – that of gamma-ray burst (GRB) research, which aims to explain bright flashes of gamma rays discovered during the 1960s – an increase in the number of detections and searches for counterparts in other wavelengths or in gravitational waves will enable quick progress. As the number of detected GRBs started to go into the thousands, the number of theories (which initially also included those with extraterrestrial origins) decreased rapidly to a handful. The start of data taking by ASKAP and the increasing sensitivity of CHIME means we can look forward to an exponential growth of the number of detected FRBs, and an exponential decrease in the number of theories on their origin.
    Further reading

    CHIME/FRB Collaboration 2019 Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0867-7.

    CHIME/FRB Collaboration 2019 Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0864-x

    E F Keane 2018 Nat. Astron. 2 865.https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-018-0603-0

    D Lorimer 2018 Nat. Astron. 2 860. [Unfound]

    See the full article here.


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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New
    ALICE

    CERN/ALICE Detector


    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    LHC

    CERN map

    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    OTHER PROJECTS AT CERN

    CERN AEGIS

    CERN ALPHA

    CERN ALPHA


    CERN ALPHA-g Detector

    CERN ALPHA-g Detector


    CERN AMS

    CERN ACACUSA

    CERN ASACUSA

    CERN ATRAP

    CERN ATRAP

    CERN AWAKE

    CERN AWAKE

    CERN CAST

    CERN CAST Axion Solar Telescope

    CERN CLOUD

    CERN CLOUD

    CERN COMPASS

    CERN COMPASS

    CERN DIRAC

    CERN DIRAC

    CERN GBAR

    CERN GBAR

    CERN ISOLDE

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    CERN LHCf

    CERN LHCf

    CERN NA62

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    CERN NTOF

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    CERN UA9

    CERN Proto Dune

    CERN Proto Dune

     
  • richardmitnick 10:13 am on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Are Fast Radio Bursts from Flaring Magnetars?, , , , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts   

    From AAS NOVA: “Are Fast Radio Bursts from Flaring Magnetars?” 

    AASNOVA

    From AAS NOVA

    16 January 2019
    Susanna Kohler

    1
    Artist’s impression of a magnetized neutron star. Could these objects be responsible for fast radio bursts? [ESO/L. Calçada]

    Could the mysterious fast-radio-burst signal FRB 121102 be emitted from a flaring, strongly magnetic neutron star? In a new study, two scientists explore the evidence.

    Mysterious Signals

    More than a decade ago, a powerful burst of coherent radio emission lasting only a few milliseconds mystified astronomers. The dispersion of the signal — the delay of its component frequencies by different amounts of time, depending on the wavelength — indicated that this pulse came from beyond our galaxy. But what was it?

    2
    Artist’s impression of a fast radio burst observed by the Parkes Radio Telescope. [Swinburne Astronomy Productions]

    Today, we’ve detected many dozens of these odd fast radio bursts (FRBs), including two sources that appear to repeat. The repetition has allowed scientists to learn more about the best studied of these, FRB 121102: this burst has been localized to a star-forming dwarf galaxy that lies three billion light-years from Earth. Upon closer inspection of the region, scientists found that in addition to FRB 121102’s repeating bursts, a dim and steady source of radio emission lies nearby.

    These accumulating clues all address a broad mystery: what object could be responsible for the bursting and steady emission we observe? What is the source of an FRB?

    A Magnetized Solution

    Two scientists at Columbia University, former graduate student Ben Margalit (now a NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley) and advisor Brian Metzger, recently proposed an explanation for FRB 121102: perhaps this source is a young, flaring, highly magnetized neutron star that is embedded in a decades-old supernova remnant.

    Neutron stars are dense cores left behind after a star’s spectacular death in a supernova or a gamma-ray burst. In particular, a magnetar is a type of neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field that causes flares and bursts early in the object’s life. Such flares from a distant young magnetar, Margalit and Metzger argue, could explain the FRB signals we observe.

    3
    Schematic of the authors’ model, in which a young, flaring magnetar is embedded in a magnetized nebula trapped behind the shell of supernova ejecta. Electrons in the magnetized nebula emit the persistent radio radiation, and the nebula leaves an imprint on the burst emission — which originates from the magnetar — as well. [Margalit & Metzger 2018]

    In addition, the newly-formed magnetar may rest in the center of a compact, magnetized nebula that’s trapped behind the expanding shell of supernova ejecta created when the magnetar was born. This magnetized nebula could power persistent radio emission like what we observed near FRB 121102.

    As a final piece of the puzzle, the authors point out that the identified home for FRB 121102 is consistent with the type of galaxy in which magnetars often form. Such small galaxies with high specific star formation rates are known to preferentially host long gamma-ray bursts and superluminous supernovae, events in which magnetars are born.

    Predicting the Future

    To test their theory, Margalit and Metzger develop a detailed time-dependent model of an expanding, magnetized electron-ion nebula inflated by a flaring, young magnetar. They then show that the energetics of their model beautifully match the properties of both the bursting and persistent radio emission from FRB 121102.

    Does this mean the mystery’s solved? We can’t say for sure yet — but the authors make specific predictions for future observations of FRB 121102 that will provide a robust test of their model. In addition, the very recent discovery of a second repeating burst, FRB 180814.J0422+73, will hopefully allow us to further explore these mysterious sources and confirm their origin.

    Citation

    “A Concordance Picture of FRB 121102 as a Flaring Magnetar Embedded in a Magnetized Ion–Electron Wind Nebula,” Ben Margalit and Brian D. Metzger 2018 ApJL 868 L4.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/aaedad/meta

    See the full article here .


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    AAS Mission and Vision Statement

    The mission of the American Astronomical Societyis to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

    The Society, through its publications, disseminates and archives the results of astronomical research. The Society also communicates and explains our understanding of the universe to the public.
    The Society facilitates and strengthens the interactions among members through professional meetings and other means. The Society supports member divisions representing specialized research and astronomical interests.
    The Society represents the goals of its community of members to the nation and the world. The Society also works with other scientific and educational societies to promote the advancement of science.
    The Society, through its members, trains, mentors and supports the next generation of astronomers. The Society supports and promotes increased participation of historically underrepresented groups in astronomy.
    The Society assists its members to develop their skills in the fields of education and public outreach at all levels. The Society promotes broad interest in astronomy, which enhances science literacy and leads many to careers in science and engineering.

    Adopted June 7, 2009

     
  • richardmitnick 1:36 pm on January 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Bevy of Mysterious Radio Bursts Finds Second Repeating Source, Both repeaters give important clues about their origins-they cannot be produced by some one-off cataclysmic event, , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts, The highlight of the bounty is the single burst that flared time and again   

    From Sky & Telescope: “Bevy of Mysterious Radio Bursts Finds Second Repeating Source” 

    SKY&Telescope bloc

    From Sky & Telescope

    January 9, 2019
    Shannon Hall

    CHIME Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment -A partnership between the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, McGill University, Yale and the National Research Council in British Columbia, at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton,British Columbia

    More than a decade ago, astronomers discovered that every day the sky sparkles with thousands of bursts of radio waves. These flashes are hundreds of millions of times more energetic than the sun but so fleeting that astronomers miss them time and again.

    That has made it hard to pin down the origins of these so-called “fast radio bursts,” or FRBs for short. Yet there are tantalizing hints that they could represent an entirely new class of astrophysical objects. As such, they’re arguably one of the most intriguing mysteries in astrophysics, which makes their often-missed detection even more infuriating.

    Luckily, the tides are turning.

    A new telescope known as the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), nestled in the mountains of British Columbia, has already spotted 13 bursts. And of those bursts, reported January 9th in Nature and at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, one appears to repeat — an advance that might help astronomers settle its exotic origin.

    A Baker’s Dozen

    The bursts were detected over a period of just three weeks last summer, while CHIME was running at only a fraction of its full capacity. “Immediately, it was clear that this is good news,” said Victoria Kaspi (McGill University) at the meeting.

    First, it’s a resounding endorsement of the telescope’s capabilities. And while Kaspi was hesitant to say just how many bursts might become visible once the telescope is in full swing, early estimates suggest that CHIME might ultimately detect anywhere from 2 to 50 bursts per day — a feat that would truly revolutionize the field.

    Second, Kaspi noted that the radio waves from many of these bursts appear to have been scattered on their journey to Earth. That means that the FRBs likely originated in special environments that contain a lot of turbulent gas, such as near a supermassive black hole, a young supernova remnant, or a star-forming region, she said.

    1
    A composite image of the field around the first repeating fast radio burst, FRB 121102 (indicated), showed that the burst came from a dwarf galaxy.
    Gemini Observatory / AURA / NSF / NRC

    The Gift That Keeps on Giving

    The highlight of the bounty is the single burst that flared time and again. First detected on August 14th, CHIME saw it pop up five additional times. The only other known repeating FRB was detected in 2012 and has reappeared hundreds of times since. So, a second “suggests that these repeaters are not as rare as we might have thought previously,” Kaspi said.

    What’s more: Both repeaters give important clues about their origins. The sheer fact that the bursts repeat, for example, suggest that they cannot be produced by some one-off cataclysmic event, like a core-collapse supernova or a merger of neutron stars. Both events would only occur once and a second burst would be impossible.

    But that’s not all. Both FRBs have another intriguing characteristic: Their frequencies drift downward over time. That means that the first few bursts arrived at the telescope with much higher frequencies than the final few bursts. “This is quite bizarre,” says Jason Hessels (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) who was not involved in the recent study. “But it’s also exciting because it’s a clue to determining what kind of physics creates this burst.”

    So what might cause such a downward drift? Late last year, Hessels attempted to answer that very question with regards to the first repeating radio burst. He argued that the drift could be intrinsic to the burst, meaning the burst starts very close to an energetic source (say, a supermassive black hole) and then moves farther away over time. Such a pattern has been seen before. As solar flares propagate outward, for example, the Sun’s magnetic field strength drops — an effect that causes the flare’s radio emission to similarly drop.

    Alternatively, the drift could come from something around the burst. A cloud of extremely hot and electrically charged gas, or plasma, for example, might act as a lens, which would bend the radio waves in much the same way that water bends rays of light.

    The fact that the two events look so similar is what most excites Hessels about the newest repeater. “It really suggests they’re of the same ilk,” he says. And while Kaspi agrees that the similarity is “striking,” she notes that we can’t draw any firm conclusions yet.

    Astronomers are keeping their eyes on the mysterious burst with the hope that they will be able to tie it to the galaxy it lives in, enabling them to better understand its environment. And of course, they’re also eagerly awaiting the scores of radio bursts that CHIME will soon detect.

    References:

    CHIME/FRB Collaboration “A second source of repeating fast radio bursts.” Nature, available online on 9 January 2019.

    CHIME/FRB Collaboration “Observations of fast radio bursts at frequencies down to 400 megahertz.” Nature, available online on 9 January 2019.

    J.W.T. Hessels et al. “FRB 121102 Bursts Show Complex Time-Frequency Structure.” Submitted to The Astrophysical Journal.

    See the full article here .

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    Sky & Telescope magazine, founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer Jr. and Helen Spence Federer, has the largest, most experienced staff of any astronomy magazine in the world. Its editors are virtually all amateur or professional astronomers, and every one has built a telescope, written a book, done original research, developed a new product, or otherwise distinguished him or herself.

    Sky & Telescope magazine, now in its eighth decade, came about because of some happy accidents. Its earliest known ancestor was a four-page bulletin called The Amateur Astronomer, which was begun in 1929 by the Amateur Astronomers Association in New York City. Then, in 1935, the American Museum of Natural History opened its Hayden Planetarium and began to issue a monthly bulletin that became a full-size magazine called The Sky within a year. Under the editorship of Hans Christian Adamson, The Sky featured large illustrations and articles from astronomers all over the globe. It immediately absorbed The Amateur Astronomer.

    Despite initial success, by 1939 the planetarium found itself unable to continue financial support of The Sky. Charles A. Federer, who would become the dominant force behind Sky & Telescope, was then working as a lecturer at the planetarium. He was asked to take over publishing The Sky. Federer agreed and started an independent publishing corporation in New York.

    “Our first issue came out in January 1940,” he noted. “We dropped from 32 to 24 pages, used cheaper quality paper…but editorially we further defined the departments and tried to squeeze as much information as possible between the covers.” Federer was The Sky’s editor, and his wife, Helen, served as managing editor. In that January 1940 issue, they stated their goal: “We shall try to make the magazine meet the needs of amateur astronomy, so that amateur astronomers will come to regard it as essential to their pursuit, and professionals to consider it a worthwhile medium in which to bring their work before the public.”

     
  • richardmitnick 1:55 pm on November 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ASKAP-Australia Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, , , , , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts, , Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia,   

    From International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research: “Aussie telescope almost doubles known number of mysterious ‘fast radio bursts’” 

    ICRAR Logo
    From International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

    October 11, 2018
    Dr Ryan Shannon
    Swinburne University of Technology
    & OzGrav ARC Centre of Excellence
    +61 3 9214 5205
    rshannon@swin.edu.au

    Dr Jean-Pierre Macquart —
    ICRAR / Curtin University
    +61 8 9266 9248
    jean-pierre.macquart@icrar.org

    Dr Keith Bannister
    CSIRO
    +61 2 9372 4295
    keith.bannister@csiro.au

    Pete Wheeler —
    Media Contact, ICRAR
    Ph: +61 423 982 018
    pete.wheeler@icrar.org

    October 11, 2018

    Australian researchers using a CSIRO radio telescope in Western Australia have nearly doubled the known number of ‘fast radio bursts’— powerful flashes of radio waves from deep space.
    The team’s discoveries include the closest and brightest fast radio bursts ever detected. Their findings were reported today in the journal Nature.

    Fast radio bursts come from all over the sky and last for just milliseconds. Scientists don’t know what causes them but it must involve incredible energy—equivalent to the amount released by the Sun in 80 years. “We’ve found 20 fast radio bursts in a year, almost doubling the number detected worldwide since they were discovered in 2007,” said lead author Dr Ryan Shannon, from Swinburne University of Technology and the OzGrav ARC Centre of Excellence.

    “Using the new technology of the Australia Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), we’ve also proved that fast radio bursts are coming from the other side of the Universe rather than from our own galactic neighbourhood.”

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    1
    For each burst, the top panels show what the FRB signal looks like when averaged over all frequencies. The bottom panels show how the brightness of the burst changes with frequency. The bursts are vertical because they have been corrected for dispersion. Credit: Ryan Shannon and the CRAFT collaboration.

    Co-author Dr Jean-Pierre Macquart, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said bursts travel for billions of years and occasionally pass through clouds of gas. “Each time this happens, the different wavelengths that make up a burst are slowed by different amounts,” he said. “Eventually, the burst reaches Earth with its spread of wavelengths arriving at the telescope at slightly different times, like swimmers at a finish line. “Timing the arrival of the different wavelengths tells us how much material the burst has travelled through on its journey. “And because we’ve shown that fast radio bursts come from far away, we can use them to detect all the missing matter located in the space between galaxies—which is a really exciting discovery.”

    CSIRO’s Dr Keith Bannister, who engineered the systems that detected the bursts, said ASKAP’s phenomenal discovery rate is down to two things. “The telescope has a whopping field of view of 30 square degrees, 100 times larger than the full Moon,” he said. “And, by using the telescope’s dish antennas in a radical way, with each pointing at a different part of the sky, we observed 240 square degrees all at once—about a thousand times the area of the full Moon. “ASKAP is astoundingly good for this work.”

    Dr Shannon said we now know that fast radio bursts originate from about halfway across the Universe but we still don’t know what causes them or which galaxies they come from.
    The team’s next challenge is to pinpoint the locations of bursts on the sky. “We’ll be able to localise the bursts to better than a thousandth of a degree,” Dr Shannon said.
    “That’s about the width of a human hair seen ten metres away, and good enough to tie each burst to a particular galaxy.”

    ASKAP is located at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, and is a precursor for the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)

    The SKA could observe large numbers of fast radio bursts, giving astronomers a way to study the early Universe in detail.

    CSIRO acknowledges the Wajarri Yamaji as the traditional owners of the MRO site.

    A fast radio burst leaves a distant galaxy, travelling to Earth over billions of years and occasionally passing through clouds of gas in its path. Each time a cloud of gas is encountered, the different wavelengths that make up a burst are slowed by different amounts. Timing the arrival of the different wavelengths at a radio telescope tells us how much material the burst has travelled through on its way to Earth and allows astronomers to to detect “missing” matter located in the space between galaxies. Credit: CSIRO/ICRAR/OzGrav/Swinburne University of Technology

    Dr Ryan Shannon (Swinburne/OzGrav), Dr Jean-Pierre Macquart (Curtin/ICRAR) and Dr Keith Bannister (CSIRO) describe their discovery of 20 new fast radio bursts (FRBs) and how the Phased Array Feed (PAF) receiver technology in CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope enabled this breakthrough science. Credit: CSIRO.

    More Information:
    ASKAP

    The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is the world’s fastest survey radio telescope. Designed and engineered by CSIRO, ASKAP is made up of 36 ‘dish’ antennas, spread across a 6km diameter, that work together as a single instrument called an interferometer. The key feature of ASKAP is its wide field of view, generated by its unique phased array feed (PAF) receivers. Together with specialised digital systems, the PAFs create 36 separate (simultaneous) beams on the sky which are mosaicked together into a large single image.

    See the full article here .

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    ICRAR is an equal joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia with funding support from the State Government of Western Australia. The Centre’s headquarters are located at UWA, with research nodes at both UWA and the Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy (CIRA).
    ICRAR has strong support from the government of Australia and is working closely with industry and the astronomy community, including CSIRO and the Australian Telescope National Facility, <a
    ICRAR is:

    Playing a key role in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, the world's biggest ground-based telescope array.

    Attracting some of the world’s leading researchers in radio astronomy, who will also contribute to national and international scientific and technical programs for SKA and ASKAP.
    Creating a collaborative environment for scientists and engineers to engage and work with industry to produce studies, prototypes and systems linked to the overall scientific success of the SKA, MWA and ASKAP.

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)

    A Small part of the Murchison Widefield Array

    Enhancing Australia’s position in the international SKA program by contributing to the development process for the SKA in scientific, technological and operational areas.
    Promoting scientific, technical, commercial and educational opportunities through public outreach, educational material, training students and collaborative developments with national and international educational organisations.
    Establishing and maintaining a pool of emerging and top-level scientists and technologists in the disciplines related to radio astronomy through appointments and training.
    Making world-class contributions to SKA science, with emphasis on the signature science themes associated with surveys for neutral hydrogen and variable (transient) radio sources.
    Making world-class contributions to SKA capability with respect to developments in the areas of Data Intensive Science and support for the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:06 pm on October 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts   

    From CSIROscope: “The search for the source of a mysterious fast radio burst comes relatively close to home” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    31 October 2018
    Elizabeth Mahony

    1
    Antennas of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope first picked up the Fast Radio Burst. CSIRO/Alex Cherney, Author provided.

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are just that – enormous blasts of radio waves from space that only last for a fraction of a second. This makes pinpointing their source a huge challenge.

    Our team recently discovered 20 new FRBs using CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder in the Western Australian outback, almost doubling the known number of FRBs.

    In follow-up research, published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, we have taken one of these new detections – known as FRB 171020 (the day the radio waves arrived at Earth: October 20, 2017) – and narrowed down the location to a galaxy close to our own.

    This is the closest FRB detected (so far) but we still don’t know what causes these mysterious radio bursts that can contain more energy than our Sun produces in decades.

    Waves in space

    As radio waves travel through the universe they pass through other galaxies and our own Milky Way before arriving at our telescopes.

    The longer radio wavelengths are slowed down more than the shorter wavelengths, meaning that there is a slight delay in the arrival time of longer wavelengths.

    This difference in arrival times is called the dispersion measure and indicates the amount of matter the radio emission has travelled through.

    FRB 171020 has the lowest dispersion measure of any FRB detected to date, meaning that it hasn’t travelled from half way across the universe like most of the other FRBs detected so far. That means it originated from relatively nearby (by astronomical standards).By using models of the distribution of matter in the universe we can put a hard limit on how far the radio signal has travelled. For this particular FRB, we estimate that it could not have originated from further than a billion light years away, and likely occurred much closer. (Our Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across.)This distance limit, combined with the sky area we know the FRB came from (an area half a square degree – or roughly two full Moons across) enormously narrows down the search volume to look for the host galaxy.

    Closing in

    A region of the sky this size typically contains hundreds of galaxies. We used giant optical telescopes in Chile – including the appropriately named Very Large Telescope and Gemini South – to derive distances to these galaxies by either measuring their redshifts directly, or by using their optical colours to estimate their distance.

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo


    Gemini South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 7200 feet

    This allowed us to drastically reduce the number of possible galaxies within the distance limit to just 16.

    By far the closest, and we believe most likely to host the FRB, is a nearby spiral galaxy called ESO 601-G036. This is 120 million light years away – making this FRB host almost our next door neighbour.

    3
    Optical image of the search area from the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS). The circles mark possible host galaxies for FRB 171020, but these are all much further away than the most likely galaxy ESO 601-G036, shown in the lower left as a three-colour image from the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) ATLAS survey. ESO, Digitized Sky Survey and VST-ATLAS, Author provided.

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VLT Survey Telescope (VISTA) observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. It is the largest survey telescope in the world in visible light.
    Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    What is particularly striking about this galaxy is that it shares many similar features to the only galaxy known to produce FRBs: FRB 121102.

    This FRB is also known as the repeating FRB due to its – so far unique – property of producing multiple bursts. This helped astronomers locate it to a small galaxy about more than 3 billion light years away.

    ESO 601-G036 is similar in size, and forming new stars at about the same rate, as the host galaxy of the repeating FRB.

    But there is one intriguing feature of the repeating FRB that we don’t see in ESO 601-G036.

    Other emissions

    In addition to repeat bursts of radio emission, the repeating FRB emits lower energy radio emission continuously.

    Using CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in Narrabri, NSW, we have searched for this persistent radio emission in ESO 601-G036. If it was anything like the repeater’s galaxy, it should have a boomingly bright radio source in it. We saw nothing.

    5
    The Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) used in the follow-up observations. CSIRO, Author provided

    Not only did we find that ESO 601-G036 doesn’t have any persistent radio emission, but there are no other galaxies in our search volume that show similar properties to that seen in the repeating FRB.

    This points to the possibility that there are different types of fast radio bursts that may even have different origins.

    Finding the galaxies that FRBs originate from is a big step towards solving the mystery of what produces these extreme bursts. Most FRBs travel much further distances so finding one so close to Earth allows us to study the environments of FRBs in unprecedented detail.

    The hunt for more

    Unfortunately, we can’t say with absolute certainty that ESO 601-G036 is the galaxy that FRB 171020 came from.

    The next big hurdle in understanding what causes FRBs is to pinpoint more of them. If we can do that we’ll be able to work out not only exactly which galaxy an FRB occurred in, but even where within the galaxy it occurred.

    If FRBs occur within the central nuclei of galaxies, this could perhaps point to black holes as their source. Or do they prefer the outskirts of galaxies? Or regions where a lot of new stars have recently formed? There are still so many unknowns about FRBs.

    Several radio telescopes around the world are commissioning systems to pinpoint bursts. Our study has shown that by combining observations from radio and optical telescopes we’ll be able to paint a complete picture of FRB host galaxies, and be able to finally determine what causes these FRBs.

    See the full article here .

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    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:58 pm on October 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ASKAP is located at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, ASKAP telescopes to rule fast radio-burst hunt, , , , , , CSIRO acknowledges the Wajarri Yamaji as the traditional owners of the MRO site, FRB's Fast radio Bursts, ,   

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation CSIRO: “CSIRO telescope almost doubles known number of mysterious ‘fast radio bursts'” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation CSIRO

    Australian researchers using a CSIRO radio telescope in Western Australia have nearly doubled the known number of ‘fast radio bursts’— powerful flashes of radio waves from deep space.

    1
    Antennas of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope. Credit: CSIRO/Alex Cherney

    2
    An artist’s impression of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope observing ‘fast radio bursts’ in ‘fly’s-eye mode’. Each antenna points in a slightly different direction, giving maximum sky coverage. ©OzGrav, Swinburne University of Technology

    3
    (L-R) Lead author Dr Ryan Shannon (Swinburne/OzGrav), with co-authors Dr Keith Bannister (CSIRO) and Dr Jean-Pierre Macquart (Curtin/ICRAR). ©Inspireworks

    4
    Dishes of CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder in ‘fly’s-eye mode’ ©Kim Steel

    The team’s discoveries include the closest and brightest fast radio bursts ever detected.

    Their findings were reported today in the journal Nature .

    Fast radio bursts come from all over the sky and last for just milliseconds.

    Scientists don’t know what causes them but it must involve incredible energy—equivalent to the amount released by the Sun in 80 years.

    “We’ve found 20 fast radio bursts in a year, almost doubling the number detected worldwide since they were discovered in 2007,” lead author Dr Ryan Shannon, from Swinburne University of Technology and the OzGrav ARC Centre of Excellence said.

    “Using the new technology of the Australia Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), we’ve also proved that fast radio bursts are coming from the other side of the Universe rather than from our own galactic neighbourhood.”

    Co-author Dr Jean-Pierre Macquart, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said bursts travel for billions of years and occasionally pass through clouds of gas.

    “Each time this happens, the different wavelengths that make up a burst are slowed by different amounts,” he said.

    “Eventually, the burst reaches Earth with its spread of wavelengths arriving at the telescope at slightly different times, like swimmers at a finish line.

    “Timing the arrival of the different wavelengths tells us how much material the burst has travelled through on its journey.

    “And because we’ve shown that fast radio bursts come from far away, we can use them to detect all the missing matter located in the space between galaxies—which is a really exciting discovery.”

    CSIRO’s Dr Keith Bannister, who engineered the systems that detected the bursts, said ASKAP’s phenomenal discovery rate is down to two things.

    “The telescope has a whopping field of view of 30 square degrees, 100 times larger than the full Moon,” he said.

    “And, by using the telescope’s dish antennas in a radical way, with each pointing at a different part of the sky, we observed 240 square degrees all at once—about a thousand times the area of the full Moon.

    “ASKAP is astoundingly good for this work.”

    Dr Shannon said we now know that fast radio bursts originate from about halfway across the Universe but we still don’t know what causes them or which galaxies they come from.

    The team’s next challenge is to pinpoint the locations of bursts on the sky.

    “We’ll be able to localise the bursts to better than a thousandth of a degree,” Dr Shannon said.

    “That’s about the width of a human hair seen 10 metres away, and good enough to tie each burst to a particular galaxy.”

    ASKAP is located at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, and is a precursor for the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

    The SKA could observe large numbers of fast radio bursts, giving astronomers a way to study the early Universe in detail.

    CSIRO acknowledges the Wajarri Yamaji as the traditional owners of the MRO site.

    See the full article here .


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    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:44 pm on October 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts,   

    From AAS NOVA: “Featured Image: A CHIME Search for Fast Radio Bursts” 

    AASNOVA

    From AAS NOVA

    1
    The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, is a novel radio telescope originally intended to map features in hydrogen gas to measure dark energy. It has an additional mission now, however: CHIME will search the sky for signs of new fast radio bursts (FRBs). FRBs — energetic transient radio pulses that last only a few milliseconds — were first discovered about a decade ago, and though we’ve only observed ~30 of them so far, some estimates suggest they occur at a rate of several hundred to a few thousand per day across the sky! CHIME’s large field of view, high sensitivity, and wide bandwidth will help us hunt for these explosive events. In a new report by the CHIME/FRB collaboration, the team details this unique telescope, located in British Columbia. CHIME is made up of four 20-m x 100-m semicylindrical paraboloid reflectors, giving it its unusual appearance. The team expects that when CHIME begins science operations, it will detect FRBs at a rate of 2–42 FRBs per sky per day. For more information, check out the article below!

    Citation

    “The CHIME Fast Radio Burst Project: System Overview,” The CHIME/FRB Collaboration et al 2018 ApJ 863 48. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aad188/meta

    Related journal articles
    _________________________________________________
    See the full article for further references with links.

    See the full article here .


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    1

    AAS Mission and Vision Statement

    The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

    The Society, through its publications, disseminates and archives the results of astronomical research. The Society also communicates and explains our understanding of the universe to the public.
    The Society facilitates and strengthens the interactions among members through professional meetings and other means. The Society supports member divisions representing specialized research and astronomical interests.
    The Society represents the goals of its community of members to the nation and the world. The Society also works with other scientific and educational societies to promote the advancement of science.
    The Society, through its members, trains, mentors and supports the next generation of astronomers. The Society supports and promotes increased participation of historically underrepresented groups in astronomy.
    The Society assists its members to develop their skills in the fields of education and public outreach at all levels. The Society promotes broad interest in astronomy, which enhances science literacy and leads many to careers in science and engineering.

    Adopted June 7, 2009

     
  • richardmitnick 6:53 pm on September 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts, , , The notorious repeating fast radio source FRB 121102,   

    From Breakthrough Listen via Science Alert: “Astronomers Have Detected an Astonishing 72 New Mystery Radio Bursts From Space “ 

    From Breakthrough Listen Project

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert

    11 SEP 2018
    MICHELLE STARR

    A massive number of new signals have been discovered coming from the notorious repeating fast radio source FRB 121102 – and we can thank artificial intelligence for these findings.

    Researchers at the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) project Breakthrough Listen applied machine learning to comb through existing data, and found 72 fast radio bursts that had previously been missed.

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are among the most mysterious phenomena in the cosmos. They are extremely powerful, generating as much energy as hundreds of millions of Suns. But they are also extremely short, lasting just milliseconds; and most of them only occur once, without warning.

    This means they can’t be predicted; so it’s not like astronomers are able to plan observations. They are only picked up later in data from other radio observations of the sky.

    Except for one source. FRB 121102 is a special individual – because ever since its discovery in 2012, it has been caught bursting again and again, the only FRB source known to behave this way.

    Because we know FRB 121102 to be a repeating source of FRBs, this means we can try to catch it in the act. This is exactly what researchers at Breakthrough Listen did last year. On 26 August 2017, they pointed the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia at its location for five hours.

    In the 400 terabytes of data from that observation, the researchers discovered 21 FRBs using standard computer algorithms, all from within the first hour. They concluded that the source goes through periods of frenzied activity and quiescence.

    But the powerful new algorithm used to reanalyse that August 26 data suggests that FRB 121102 is a lot more active and possibly complex than originally thought. Researchers trained what is known as a convolutional neural network to look for the signals, then set it loose on the data like a truffle pig.

    It returned triumphant with 72 previously undetected signals, bringing the total number that astronomers have observed from the object to around 300.

    “This work is only the beginning of using these powerful methods to find radio transients,” said astronomer Gerry Zhang of the University of California Berkeley, which runs Breakthrough Listen.

    “We hope our success may inspire other serious endeavours in applying machine learning to radio astronomy.”

    The new result has helped us learn a little more about FRB 121102, putting constraints on the periodicity of the bursts. It suggests that, the researchers said, there’s no pattern to the way we receive them – unless the pattern is shorter than 10 milliseconds.

    See the full article here .

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    Listen

    Breakthrough Listen is the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. The scope and power of the search are on an unprecedented scale:

    The program includes a survey of the 1,000,000 closest stars to Earth. It scans the center of our galaxy and the entire galactic plane. Beyond the Milky Way, it listens for messages from the 100 closest galaxies to ours.

    The instruments used are among the world’s most powerful. They are 50 times more sensitive than existing telescopes dedicated to the search for intelligence.

    CSIRO/Parkes Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia

    UCSC Lick Automated Planet Finder telescope, Mount Hamilton, CA, USA



    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA

    The radio surveys cover 10 times more of the sky than previous programs. They also cover at least 5 times more of the radio spectrum – and do it 100 times faster. They are sensitive enough to hear a common aircraft radar transmitting to us from any of the 1000 nearest stars.

    We are also carrying out the deepest and broadest ever search for optical laser transmissions. These spectroscopic searches are 1000 times more effective at finding laser signals than ordinary visible light surveys. They could detect a 100 watt laser (the energy of a normal household bulb) from 25 trillion miles away.

    Listen combines these instruments with innovative software and data analysis techniques.

    The initiative will span 10 years and commit a total of $100,000,000.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:21 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , FRB's Fast radio Bursts, Galactic and Extragalactic Magnetic Fields   

    From astrobites: “Extragalactic Magnetic Fields: Uncovering Their Origin Story” 

    Astrobites bloc

    From astrobites

    June 1, 2018
    Joshua Kerrigan

    Title: Probing the origin of extragalactic magnetic fields with Fast Radio Bursts
    Authors: F. Vazza, M. Brüggen , P.M. Hinz, D. Wittor, N. Locatelli, and C. Gheller
    First Author’s Institution: Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Universita ́ di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
    1
    Status: Submitted to MNRAS, open access

    What do Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), polarization, and extragalactic magnetic fields on massive scales have in relation to each other? Well to cut to the chase, by combining the polarization of FRB signals we can potentially determine the origin of extragalactic magnetic fields. This could be made possible – in simulation as of now – by some special characteristics of FRBs that wouldn’t necessarily be offered by more steady state radio sources. So welcome to today’s astrobite, where we’ll take some time to learn about how we can uncover the origin story of extragalactic magnetic fields.

    FRB Fast Radio Bursts from NAOJ Subaru, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

    3
    Galactic and Extragalactic Magnetic Fields, Rainer Beck, U Mainz

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    What do we do?

    Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.
    Why read Astrobites?

    Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.
    Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.

     
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