Researchers from Nanjing University (China) proposed a new explanation of the mysterious fast radio pulses (FRB), in which for a few milliseconds in outer space emitted a huge amount of energy. According to Chinese scientists, this phenomenon is associated with the formation of crust on the “strange” stars.
The first FRB-signal was detected in 2001 by a radio telescope in Australia. However, the data were processed only by 2007. Since then, astronomers were able to confirm several dozen of such signals, but find their true nature while nobody could. There are many different hypotheses that attempt to explain how come these fast radio bursts. However, the difficulty in tracking them (they last only a few milliseconds) does not allow scientists to achieve some better results. This wave has even been suggested that this phenomenon might be related to the activities of alien civilizations. Science this hypothesis is considered the least likely, but still.
Also likely sources referred to or fused with each other neutron stars, or turning into a black hole heavy pulsars (blicky). Some researchers criticize these hypotheses, because sometimes bursts were repeated.
Chinese astrophysics, in turn, believe that the source of quick bursts becomes a special type of neutron stars — strange stars. In the depths of these objects is formed quark “soup”, consisting of three types of quarks, including strange quarks. This matter is in a low energy state, making it stable. According to the theoretical model, it sometimes forms a normal hadron matter (composed of neutrons), which is displaced from the star and forms a crust on its surface. The crust becomes harder and at some time collapses.
Naked quark star in a short time becomes a source of electron-positron pairs and generates an electromagnetic field. This, in turn, leads to the acceleration of electrons and positrons to speeds close to the speed of light. The motion of the particles emit coherent radiation, which is registered as a quick burst. Then hadron crust is reestablished and the cycle repeats again. The period of formation of the crust can be very long, which explains the sporadic radio bursts.
The researchers note that confirmation or refutation of this hypothesis will require additional studies. In addition, you will need to check whether the collapse of the star “peel” leads to the generation of electromagnetic fields, not radio waves.
At the moment, any radiations x-ray or gamma waves would be too weak for observation with the help of modern detectors. Therefore, according to the scientists, for future observations of FRB-signals would require the use of more sensitive instruments.
These tools can be, for example, a telescope CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment), located in British Columbia, or the Square Kilometer Array (“Antenna array area in square kilometer”), the construction of which is underway in South Africa and Australia.
These devices will be optimized for radio astronomy and will be able to tell more about FRB-signals and other mysterious cosmic phenomena.