FAST Helps Reveal the Mistery of Fast Radio Bursts

2020-November-13 17:05 By:

A series of major achievements in the study of fast radio bursts were reached recently based on the latest observation of the FAST. Two relevant papers were published respectively on science journal Nature on Oct 29 and Nov 4, once again putting the gigantic Chinese telescope on the center of radio astronomy.

Fast radio bursts are bright, unresolved, broadband, millisecond flashes found in parts of the sky, caused by some high-energy astrophysical process not yet understood.

The first fast radio burst to be described, the Lorimer Burst FRB010724, was detected in 2007 in archived data recorded in 2001 by the Parkes Observatory, a 64-meter radio telescope in Australia.

Because of the isolated nature of the observed phenomenon, the nature of the source remains speculative.

Lee Kejia, researcher of National Astronomical Observatory of China (NAOC), and his team used FAST to observe a repeating fast radio burst called FRB180301 and discovered that the radiation of the source has "very diverse polarization angle swings", meaning that the radiation is affected by the magnetosphere. This supports the hypothesis that fast radio bursts originate from complex processes in a neutron star's magnetosphere, rather than from the collision of accelerated particles, published in Nature on Oct. 29.

Another study published in Nature by researchers from Beijing Normal University, Peking University and National Astronomical Observatory of China (NAOC) on Nov. 5 said that Chinese astronomers used FAST to observe a magnetar named SGR 1935+2154, and found that there is weak correlation between fast radio bursts(FRBs) and soft gamma-ray repeater J1935+2154(SGRs).

Since officially in service from January, 2020, China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) has showcased remarkable performance. It has observed and served more than 5,200 hours, discovering more than 240 pulsars. In addition, more than 40 high-level papers have been published based on the telescope's data.

Editor: WXY
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