An illustration of a space observatory detecting an FRB. Depositphotos.

High-Energy Counterpart of Mysterious FRBs Recorded by Scientists

This is only the second such signal ever recorded by astronomers. The first X-ray counterpart of an FRB was detected in April 2020.


According to the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese scientists have detected an X-ray burst related to a fast radio burst (FRB). Scientists made the discovery thanks to the Gravitational Wave High-energy Electromagnetic Counterpart All-sky Monitor (GECAM) telescope. GECAM is a space observatory comprised of two X-ray and gamma-ray all-sky observing satellites called GECAM A and GECAM B.

Through the telescope, we can get a glimpse of the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves (GWs). However, it also helps us better understand high-energy radiation from FRBs and various gamma-ray bursts, as well as magnetar flares. According to GECAM researcher Xiong Shaolin, only once have we detected the high-energy counterpart of an FRB. Through the find, scientists have discovered extremely valuable information. It will help them better understand both the radiation mechanisms and outburst mechanisms of FRBs, said Xiong.


FRB mystery

According to Xinhua, the first X-ray counterpart of an FRB was detected in April 2020 using China’s Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT). In addition, both flashes originated from the same magnetar named SGR J1935+2154, proving that magnetars are capable of emitting FRBs.” Xiong said. As the origin of FRBs is still a mystery, this study is an important first step toward unraveling it. In the universe, FRBs are the brightest radio bursts. These blips are called “fast” because they last for only a few milliseconds. The origin and radiation mechanism of FRBs are still unknown. During their active period, magnetars produce violent X-ray bursts due to their ultra-strong magnetic fields.

Despite their discovery more than 15 years ago, deep-space pulses of electromagnetic radio waves continue to perplex scientists. Fast radio bursts that have recently been spotted from our Milky Way galaxy may originate from magnetars, which are dense neutron stars with extremely powerful magnetic fields. Fast radio bursts from very distant galaxies are, on the other hand, unknown. Moreover, what scientists thought they knew about them seems to be contradicted by the latest observations. Around 800 FRBs have been detected so far, with more being discovered each day.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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