Very recently, a team of scientists from CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) detected ten bright bursts from the direction of the fast radio burst FRBs 121102. These radio signals originated in an elliptical galaxy 6 billion light years away from us.
The repeating FRBs is obviously distinct from the other non-repeating FRBs because they appeared to be one-off events, lasting for mere milliseconds.
This discovery has some serious implications for the astronomical community, some even considered it to be proof of extra-terrestrial intelligence. So does this mean aliens are bombarding us with a hail of radio signals?
New study propose a different explanation. Astronomers from School of Astronomy and Space Science, Nanjing University China, suggests that the repeating FRBs could originate to a highly magnetized pulsars traveling through asteroid belts of other stars.
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are millisecond-duration flashes found in parts of the sky outside the Milky Way. Up to date, astronomers detected only 17 FRBs, all of them are of an extragalactic or even cosmological origin.
Many models have been proposed to account for FRBs, including giant flares from magnetars, giant pulses from pulsars, eruptions of nearby flaring stars, mergers of compact object binaries and collapses of supra-massive neutron stars to black holes. But the very recently detected bright bursts from FRB 121102 (on 17 May and 2 June 2015) challenges all of the energy source models listed above for non-repeating FRBs but giant pulses from young, highly magnetized, extragalactic pulsars.
In the new paper uploaded on arxiv servers yesterday, astronomers analyze the impact physics of asteroids with pulsars and find that during each impact an electric field is induced on a radially elongated, transversely compressed asteroid near the stellar surface.
This field is strong enough to accelerate electrons to an ultra-relativistic speed instantaneously. This electric field could also accelerate protons and/or nuclei simultaneously to generate high energy cosmic rays which could further produce high-energy neutrinos.
If a pulsar captures a star successfully and collides with an asteroid belt of this star back and forth, many clusters of repeating bursts would be expected to occur. This feature, if observed, will be possible evidence for our model.
said Prof. Zigao DAI ~ author of the paper.
If Zigao’ model is true then we could detect more than 1000 FRBs per year.
This may imply that our model would be testable if a new repeating FRB is discovered in the next few years.
Concluded Yongfeng HUANG ~ also one of the authors.