The uncertainty of science: Astronomers now think they have discovered the first Fast Radio Burst (FRB) to have occurred inside the Milky Way, only 30,000 light years away, and from this now hypothesize that the bursts come from a particular kind of neutron star called a magnetar because of its super-powerful magnetic field.
The key is that, using multiple different telescopes, they also detected X-ray emissions from the same object.
The X-ray counterpart to the SGR 1935+2154 burst was not particularly strong or unusual, said astrophysicist Sandro Mereghetti of the National Institute for Astrophysics in Italy, and research scientist with the ESA’s INTEGRAL satellite. But it could imply that there’s a lot more to FRBs than we can currently detect.
“This is a very intriguing result and supports the association between FRBs and magnetars,” Mereghetti told ScienceAlert. “The FRB identified up to now are extragalactic. They have never been detected at X/gamma rays. An X-ray burst with luminosity like that of SGR1935 would be undetectable for an extragalactic source.”
Of course, more data is needed, as well as more detections, but it appears that astronomers are beginning to hone in on the solution to the source of FBRs.
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