August 16, 2022
Astronomers have discovered a strange radio signal coming from a galaxy several billion light years from Earth. The signal is flashing with a unique regularity—it repeats every 0.2 seconds, similar to the rhythm of heartbeats. This type of radio signal is known as a fast radio burst (FRB) and normally lasts for a few milliseconds. But this new signal, named FRB 20191221A by astronomers, persists for around three seconds, making it 1,000 times longer than the usual length. It is also the longest-lasting FRB with the clearest periodic pattern. According to astronomers, the signal could originate from a magnetar or radio pulsar, which are types of neutron stars.
Did You Know?
There are a billion neutron stars in the Milky Way.