With the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, a research group recorded eight so-called fast radio bursts. Astronomers have so far documented hundreds of these fast radio flashes, but only in very few cases can they approximate where they originated. Now, with Hubble, it was possible to map the eruptions of five of the eight fast radio explosions in the arms of five spiral galaxies. Since a team led by Alexandra Mannings of the University of California, Santa Cruz will soon explain in The Astrophysical Journal, their observations will support the thesis that radio flashes are associated with magnetic stars.
The bursts of radio flash for a few thousandths of a second, but they release an extremely large amount of energy in the form of radio waves. Roughly as much as our central star is emitted in a year. However, the short flash makes it difficult to measure or even locate the location of the radio bursts. A team of experts has now detected eight radio flashes in images from the Hubble Space Telescope – one in images from 2017, and the remaining seven in images from 2019 and 2020. The Hubble Camera has recorded events in ultraviolet and near-infrared. As it turned out, lightning did not come from regions with massive young stars. It is also unlikely to arise from the merging of two neutron stars – these events would occur far from the spiral arms of ancient galaxies.
Instead, the research group’s observations will coincide with the thesis that magnetic stars are the origin of rapid radio explosions. This type of neutron star is surrounded by a very strong magnetic field. Additionally, magnets are very active. Experts assume that earthquakes, for example, throw energy at the surface within them. It is also conceivable that the magnetic field causes radio flashes. These assumptions are mainly based on the observation of the fast 2020 radio explosion in the Milky Way.
The first high-speed wireless flash was recorded in 2001. However, it was not discovered by radio astronomers until 2006 in data from the Parks Radio Telescope archive in Australia. Since then, astronomers have documented hundreds more, but only about 15 galaxies have so far been assigned to an original galaxy.