Astronomers discovered an unusual source of fast radio bursts

Scientists have been able to track the location of the recently recorded fast radio burst FRB 20200120E. FRB source is removed from us by 11.7 million light years, that is, it is the nearest extragalactic object of its kind.

Not so long ago it was found that fast radio bursts can be generated by so-called magnetars – rapidly rotating young neutron stars with a powerful magnetic field. But FRB 20200120E, recorded this year, has a different nature – astronomers are sure.

Experts were able to track the location of the FRB source – it turned out that the radio burst occurred in the spiral galaxy M81, which is 11.7 million light-years from Earth. That’s a colossal distance, but it’s 40 times closer than other sources of extragalactic FRB – scientists say, adding that it’s a cluster of old stars that can’t have magnetars.

The assumption that FRB 20200120E was not formed by a magnetar indicates that the phenomenon of fast radio bursts is somewhat broader than scientists believe. Astronomers have suggested that the FRB 20200120E event occurred in an X-ray binary system of a white dwarf and a neutron star, or a neutron star and a planet. Globular clusters are very dense, so the luminaries in them can interact with each other, generating, among other things, fast radio bursts.