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Current Affairs

Radio signals emitting space objects

Date: 01 February 2022 Tags: Space

Issue

Periodic strong radio signals have been detected from an unusual space object, about 4,000 light years from earth.

 

Background

The radio bursts appear about three times an hour. The activity remains for about a minute before falling silent.

 

Details

  • The object was discovered by a Curtin University honours student using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in outback Western Australia.

  • The space objects with such behaviour are known as transients. They are usually associated with periodic releases of massive amounts of energy.

 

Transients

  • They appear usually during the death of a massive star or the activity of the remnants it leaves behind.

  • They might appear over the course of a few days and disappear after a few months. Fast transients flash on and off within milliseconds or seconds. But the one with periodic behavior is unheard of.

 

Predictions

  • The observations may point to a predicted astrophysical object called an ‘ultra-long period magnetar’. But they are not that bright.

  • The object is showing ability to convert magnetic energy to radio waves much more effectively than any other.