Fast Radio Bursts are incredibly brief but intense radio signals that last just a few milliseconds, but intrigue us for much longer.
During that short time, they can emit as much energy as the Sun does in days, weeks, or even years.
Their origin: Currently Unknown.
What’s challenging is that most of them are one-time or irregular, making it hard to explain their origins.
So, what could these bursts come from?
Objects or events like stars, supernovae, or pulsars can emit waves that we detect. But they have a finite duration and are usually intermittent.
We’ve detected a radio wave that consistently and predictably bursts and from the SAME location in space.
What’s more is… it’s been doing it for decades.
Scientists have many theories and speculations that could explain FRBs.
Neutron Star Mergers
One prevailing theory suggests that some FRBs are produced when two neutron stars collide and merge. This cataclysmic event would release an enormous amount of energy in a short burst, which could be detected as an FRB.
Magnetars are highly magnetized neutron stars with incredibly strong magnetic fields. Some researchers believe that intense flares or magnetar "starquakes" could produce FRBs when they release bursts of energy along highly magnetized field lines.
Blitzars are a specific type of neutron star merger theory where the resulting object quickly collapses into a black hole. This rapid collapse could generate a powerful burst of energy in the form of an FRB.
This one here I think is really cool. 👇🏼
Some theorists have suggested that cosmic strings—hypothetical one-dimensional defects in spacetime—could vibrate or oscillate, producing FRBs as they interact with one another or other cosmic structures.
FRBs could be generated by exotic and less understood physical processes or phenomena, such as collapsing strange stars or interactions involving axions (hypothetical elementary particles).
It's possible that FRBs are not all produced by the same mechanism. Different FRBs may have different origins, and the observed diversity in their properties could reflect this.
Interstellar Plasma Effects
Some scientists have explored the idea that FRBs may undergo scattering and dispersion effects as they travel through the interstellar medium, making their true origins more challenging to discern.
And, of course, the most captivating, but unfortunately the most unfavored theory...
While highly speculative, the possibility of FRBs being signals from advanced extraterrestrial civilizations has also been considered. However, this is a last-resort explanation and not currently favored by the scientific community, as it lacks supporting evidence.
What do you think could be causing these Fast Radio Bursts?