New paper explores four nearby fast radio burst sources

Published: 11 January 2024

Fleeting blasts of energy from space, known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), are a cosmic enigma. A Canadian-led international team of researchers has published new findings suggesting that supernovae are the predominant contributors to forming sources that eventually produce FRBs.

“Fast radio bursts are one of astronomy's greatest mysteries,” said lead author Mohit Bhardwaj, a member of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst (CHIME/FRB) collaboration and a McWilliams Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. “These extremely powerful radio blasts can travel cosmological distances and emit more energy than the Sun does in a thousand years, despite lasting only a few thousandths of a second. Even more intriguing is that, though they hit the Earth roughly every minute from all over the sky, their origin is still unknown.”

The researchers, led by scientists from Canada and including teams in the U.S., Mexico, Chile, and Australia, examined 18 nearby FRB hosts, all of which were spiral or late-type galaxies. The prevalence of late-type galaxies suggests that FRB sources predominantly occur in relatively young galaxies, with the sources possibly produced by supernovae that involve the core collapse of a massive star.

Read the full article here.

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