The Hubble Space Telescope found the surprising source of the brightest FRB ever observed. The June 10, 2022, FRB came from a cluster of ancient galaxies merging, breaking the pattern of FRBs coming from single galaxies closer to Earth.
Unprecedented June 2022 FRB Challenges Common Patterns in Galactic Origins
Almost every day, sensitive radio telescopes worldwide detect FRBs. As brief as a fraction of a second, FRBs can temporarily exceed a galaxy’s radio output.
However, the June 2022 FRB was unique. Observations by the Very Large Telescope in Chile showed that this FRB was far away and had four times more energy than its predecessors.
FRBs may be caused by black hole or neutron star interactions, but scientists are still unsure. Past FRBs were generally related to particular galaxies, but the June 2022 event caused surprises. Hubble Space Telescope analysis of the source region showed that the flash came from a merging clump of ancient galaxies.
Hubble Reveals Ancient Galaxy Mergers as Source of Unique FRB
The source region’s seven five-billion-year-old galaxies make up nearly one-third of the universe’s age. Hubble’s precision and sensitivity helped identify the FRB’s origin, revealing findings that would have been unknown without it. The primary researcher, Northwestern University astronomer Alexa Gordon, stressed the importance of knowing these uncommon surroundings in comprehending FRBs.
Researchers expect breakthroughs in the study of fast radio bursts as more powerful radio telescopes, such as the Square Kilometer Array in Australia and South Africa, become operational later this decade. Gordon stressed the need to find more FRBs in nearby and distant regions to better comprehend these mysterious cosmic events.