Astronomers at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK have discovered a fast radio burst (FRB) source that emits repetitive pulses with a certain regularity. According to scientists, the discovery helps to uncover the secret of the origin of these objects, whose nature so far remains inexplicable. This was reported in a press release on Phys.org.
During observations of the source of repeated bursts of FRB 121102, 32 bursts were detected. It turned out that the radio pulses are emitted for approximately 90 days, followed by a period of silence of 67 days. The whole cycle takes 157 days. The presence of a regular sequence indicates the repeating nature of the source, which may be a rotating massive star, a neutron star, or a black hole.
Repeated FRBs are usually attributed to the precession of the magnetic axis of a neutron star with a powerful magnetic field, but the 157-day cycle does not fit into this picture.
The source of repetitive fast radio bursts FRB 121102 was discovered using the Arecibo radio telescope on November 2, 2012, but until now, scientists did not know that its outbreaks occur regularly. Another source of periodic radio bursts is known FRB 180916.J10158 + 56, in which the cycle lasts only 16 days.