Scientists have detected a persistent, regular radio signal emanating from a galaxy far away.
According to astronomers, FRB 20191221A is the longest-lasting, most circular fast radio burst ever detected.
There are bursts of radio waves that are very intense, but are not known to be astrophysical in origin. They usually last only a few milliseconds.
“There are not many things in the universe that emit strictly periodic signals,” says Daniele Michilli, a postdoc in MIT
He added “Examples that we know of in our own galaxy are radio pulsars and magnetars, which rotate and produce a beamed emission similar to a lighthouse. And we think this new signal could be a magnetar or pulsar on steroids.”
Michilli says. “Future telescopes promise to discover thousands of FRBs a month, and at that point we may find many more of these periodic signals.”
As more bursts are captured from the periodic FRB 20191221A, the astronomers may improve their knowledge about the neutron star's source and how it evolves.