35 mysterious radio signals received from the same galaxy

It is very rare for astronomers to observe so many repeating radio signals from the same place in space. Moreover, in their opinion, this particular signal has surprising properties. Since 2007, that is, relatively recently, thanks to modern technology, astronomers have learned about a very interesting cosmic phenomenon called fast radio bursts. These are not yet fully understood unexpected bursts of radio radiation in space. Approximately 1,000 such incidents are already known. Most often they are “heard” once, but some are heard repeatedly, and of course some are particularly interesting. There have been 46 cases so far.

Most of these repetitive messages are “broadcast” in a chaotic manner. H. Although the sources are the same, the periodicity of the news cannot be proven. However, two sources are known that send signals at regular intervals. One of them is located in the direction of the constellation Cassiopeia, a galaxy very similar to our home Milky Way, 457 million light-years away. From there, mysterious radio waves arrive approximately every 16 days. The second such source lies much further away, 3 billion light years away, toward the constellation Auriga. From there, the radio will be “on the air” for 90 consecutive days, followed by 67 days of silence before the signal is resumed. This “radio station” appears to be on a planet that disappears behind the sun for 67 days as it orbits the sun.

What do scientists think about these “radio transmitters”? So far, the main idea is that this is how the original core of a “dead” star behaves, or rather, a “burned out” star that has lost its shell and remains. The cores of these stars are very strongly compressed, and depending on their mass he can be one of three. If a star has a small mass, it becomes a white dwarf (the core of the Sun is the equivalent), and if it is a massive star like Betelgeuse, it becomes a white dwarf. A neutron star, and if it’s even more massive, is a complete black hole. Additionally, some neutron stars have very strong magnetic fields. They are called magnetars. And they suspect that it is just such magnetars that are running all these mysterious radio broadcasts. Another possibility is that it is a flare caused by the merger of two neutron stars.

In the fall of 2022, the Canadian radio astronomical observatory CHIME specifically “heard” repeated signals from a source that at the time of the broadcast was estimated to be approximately one billion light-years away from us. The expansion of the universe is even further away. Source recorded as FRB 20220912A. Previously, the same observatory recorded up to 25 such repeating sources. Most of them repeated the signal 2-3 times during observation, but this his FRB 20220912A transmitted his 12th signal to the moon. Astronomers were particularly interested in it and decided to point the antenna of the Allen Telescope Array Observatory in California at it for further study. As a result, in two more months (541 hours), “wiretapping” signals from it were received an unprecedented 35 times. They write that these signals are not periodic, but have interesting properties. As the signal is transmitted, its frequency decreases, creating a “sad trumpet” effect, as scientists write. Moreover, these signals are likened to “heaven’s flutes.” They were also converted into sound waves, and the resulting “music” was reportedly similar to a xylophone.

The source, FRB 20220912A, was identified as a small galaxy about 13,000 light-years in diameter and with a mass of about 10 billion suns. For comparison, the Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across and contains hundreds of billions of stars. Since the signal was sent from a billion light years away, it would have taken a billion years to travel from there to us. Recall that a light year is the distance a photon (or light) travels in one Earth year. And nothing can travel faster than light. So what happened in this distant galaxy that caused these 35 radio signals happened a billion years ago. At that time, there was no complex or even “large scale” life on Earth. There was nothing comparable to the plants, animals, and fungi that exist around us today. Microscopic cyanobacteria ruled the earth. That is, while another radio signal flies through space, a planet can change beyond recognition or disappear completely, becoming a victim of a “dying” star.