Sept. 15, 2021

Fast Radio Bursts Tracked Down to Galactic Spiral Arms

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SpaceTime S24E104 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space time series 24 episode, 104 for broadcasts on the 15th of September, 2021. Coming up on space, time, fast radio bursts, trace down to galactic spiral arms. How big does the staff need to be? The former stellar mass black hole and new evidence shows the solar winds slowing down beyond Pluto, all that, and more coming up on Space-Time

[00:00:27] VO Guy: welcome to Space Time with Stuart Gary.

[00:00:47] Stuart: Astronomers using masses Hubble space telescope have traced the locations of five fast radio bursts to the spiral arms of five distant galaxies, fast radio bursts. The sudden femoral blessed, last thing, just a nanosecond, but releasing more energy in that time than the sun does in a whole year. The explosions occur at very specific wavelengths and usually it cosmic distances.

The first was discovered back in 2007 in data from the parks radio telescope in rural new south Wales, since then hundreds more have been detected. The first bursts all seem to be singular events occurring just once at a specific location and then never again. And that suggested they were being caused by some sort of cataclysmic event, such as a supernova.

But not long afterwards, astronomers began detecting fast radio bursts that were repeating from the same location. And that suggests a different cause. The leading contender is a highly magnetized neutron star caught a Magnetar, but feeding black holes and glitching neutron stars, haven't been totally ruled out yet.

The new findings reported in the astrophysical journal. I consistent with the idea that fast radio bursts originate from young Magnetar. And if, so it means there could be two separate causes for these mysterious deep radio blasts, or it could be that all fast radio bursts are repeaters with some, just being a lot more active than others because of their extremely short duration.

Astronomers have had a hard time tracking down exactly where fast radio bursts come from, match list, determining what kind of object or objects causing them because of this. Most of the time, astronomers don't really know exactly what to look for. Locating where these blasts are coming from. And in particular, what galaxies they originate from is important in determining exactly what kind of astronomical events are likely triggering these intense flashes of energy.

And that's where this new Hubble survey of fast radio burst comes in helping astronomers narrowed down the list of possible sources. The study's lead author, Alexandria Mannings from the university of California. Santa Cruz says the new Hubble results are exciting because they're the first high resolution view of a population of fast radio bursts and Hubble localizes them to near or on a galaxy spiral arms.

Interestingly, most of these galaxies are massive, relatively young and still forming star. The Hubble data allows the authors to get a better idea of the overall host galaxies properties, such as its mass, its staff forming rate, as well as pro what's happening right at the fast radio bursts position.

The galaxies and the huddle study are all billions of light years away. And so they're being seen as they appeared when the universe was about half its carrot age, many of these galaxies are as massive as the Milky way. The observations were made in ultraviolet, near infrared using Hubble's wide-field camera three, the ultraviolet light traces, the globe young stars strung along the spiral, arms of the galaxy and the infrared images help calculate the galaxies mass and determine where the oldest Stella populations have resigned.

The image is displayed diversity of spiral arm structure from Tattly wound to more the fuse revealing how the stars are distributed along these prominent features, a galaxy spiral arms trace the distribution of young, massive stars. The Hubble images reveal that the fast radio burst fan here, the spiral arms don't come from the very brightest regions, which are blazing with light, from hefty stars.

And that supports the view that fast radio bursts don't originate from the youngest most massive stars. So these clues have helped the authors rule out some possible triggers for these bursts, including the explosive deaths of the youngest, most massive stars, which generate gamma Ray bursts and some types of supernova.

Another now unlikely source is the merger of two neutron stars. The crash because of stars that end their lives in supernova explosions. These mergers take billions of years to occur, and they usually found in the spiral arms of all the galaxies ones that are no longer forming new stars. Importantly, last year, astronomers linked observations of one fast radio bursts spotted in our Milky way.

Galaxy with a region where a magnetite is known to resign. Magnetised generate powerful flares and magnetic processes on their surface, which can emit radio energy. And these new observations also help strengthen the association of fast radio bursts with massive star forming galaxies. Although the Hubble results are a major piece in the puzzle, the authors say they still need more observations in order to develop a more definitive picture of these enigmatic flashes and better pinpoint their sources.

This report from NASA TV,

[00:05:44] Guest: fast radio bursts, or F bees are extraordinary events that generate as much energy in a thousandth of a second. As the sun does in an entire year, astronomers using NASA's Hubble space telescope have traced the locations of. Brief powerful radio blasts to the spiral arms of five distant galaxies because these radio pulses disappear in much less than the blink of an eye.

Researchers have had a hard time tracking down where they come from and what causes. Locating the galaxies where these blasts originate is important in determining what astronomical events trigger such intense flashes of energy. The Hubble space telescope helped researchers narrow the list of possible FRB sources.

Since their discovery, astronomers have uncovered up to 1000 FRB. But only about 15 are associated with particular galaxies in this new Hubble study of FRB is astronomers pinpointed, where those bursts occurred within their specific galaxies. These images display a range of spiral, arms structures from tightly wound to more open revealing.

How stars are distributed along these prominent features. These clues helped researchers rule out some of the possible stellar objects originally thought to cause these brilliant flares, including the explosive deaths of the youngest, most massive stars, which create gamma Ray bursts and some type of.

Another unlikely source is the merger of neutron stars, the crushed cores of stars that end their lives and supernova explosions. These mergers take billions of years to occur and are usually far from the spiral arms of older galaxies that no longer formed stop. This study suggests that FRB is, do not originate from the youngest most massive stars or from older stars in a galaxy central bulge.

However, it is consistent with the leading model that fr bees originate from young Magnetar outbursts. Magnetometers are a type of neutron star with powerful magnetic fields. Call it the strongest magnets in the universe. Magna-Tiles possess a magnetic field, 10 trillion times more powerful than the magnets on your refrigerator door.

These magnetic fields lead to flares and magnetic processes that can emit radio light. Although the Hubble results are exciting. Researchers need more observations to better pinpoint the source of fr bees so they can develop a stronger understanding of these enigmatic flashes. This field of study may need a lot more research, but things to observations made with the Hubble space telescope, we're getting closer to understanding the mysteries of

[00:08:32] Stuart: the human.

This is space time still to come. How big does the staff need to be? To form a black hole and a new study shows the sun's solar wind is slowing down beyond Pluto, all that a much more stoic. Um, space time.

A new study suggests the upper mass limit for a core collapse. Supernova might be far lower than previously thought. The findings reported in the astrophysical journal and on the prepress physics website, proposed that projected stars greater than 23 to 27. Solar masses don't explode as core collapse supernova, but instead collapse directly down to former stellar mass black hole.

Star shine by fusing hydrogen in their currently helium releasing energy in the process. And once they run out of core, hydrogen diffuse, they'll start fusing the helium they've just created into carbon and oxygen, but eventually the helium will run out to stars like our sun aren't massive enough, the fused carbon and oxygen into heavier elements.

And so they in their lives as slowly cooling, still a corpses called white dwarf. But far more massive stars would still a cause greater than about 1.4, four times. The mess of our son that Chandra sake, our limit we talked about earlier in the week can generate far higher pressures and temperatures allowing them to fuse elements through a different process and thereby generate progressively heavier and heavier elements until eventually they can produce iron in their.

But the thing is no matter how massive a star gets it, can't produce the sorts of core temperatures and pressures needed to fuse iron into heavier elements. And so the balancing act between the inwards pull of gravity, crushing a star down towards the center and the hour's push of energy caused by nuclear fusion comes to a final end and gravity wins causing the starter collapsed, catastrophic glee, crushing the core and triggering a core collapse.

Supernova. The force of this collapse is so enormous. It forces the cause negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons together, forming neutrons and producing one of the most exotic objects in the universe. And you transfer. However astronomers have recently estimated that starts with cause greater than around 2.2 to 2.3, solar masses would collapse beyond the neutron star stage forming the strangest objects in the known universe, black holes, those points of infinite density in zero volume with Scott Stoler in the week.

It's long been hypothesized that iStar collapsing into a black hole might not generate a visible core collapse. Supernova. That's because the black holes of at horizon would limit the amount of material available to escape. But the thing is Kara models suggest that core collapse supernovae would occur in stairs up to around 40 or 50 solar masses, above which they would collapse directly into a black hole without generating a supernova.

Uh, models also predicted extremely massive stars. Those 150 solar masses, or more would explode through a different process. Then it's the parents' stability supernova where colliding photons created in the core generate pairs of electrons and their anti-medic counterparts positrons, which then proceed to annihilate the new findings suggest that progenitor stars greater than 23 to 27 solar masses would have enough mass to collapse directly into a black hole.

That's fast, smaller than previously thought. It also means there are probably far more black holes out there than previously thought the author has reached their conclusions by studying the elemental abundances of pair of colliding galaxies, nearness up to nine, nine, emerging galaxies triggering a huge amount of stellar activity, including birth Starburst as the formation of lots and lots of new stars and also supernova the death star.

It's increased. Number of supernova events means higher abundances of the elements generated by such events. So the authors decided to measure the ratios of Ida oxygen and those of neon, a magnesium to oxygen finding that the neon magnesium ratios were similar to the sun while the iron to oxygen ratio was much lower than solar levels, even though large amounts of iron should be generated through core collapse, supernova explosion.

Interestingly, the data matched models, which excluded stars greater than 23 to 27 solar masses. And that suggests a lower limit for when a progenitor star collapses directly into a stellar mass black hole, rather than forming a neutron star. This is space time, still, the calm, easy measurement show. The solar wind slows down beyond Pluto and an experimental new rocket crashes and burns during its launch.

Or that . Um, space time.

He measurements by NASA's new horizon spacecraft have confirmed earlier data showing that the solar wind, the supersonic stream of charged particles emitted by the sun slows down. The further away gets the findings reported in the astrophysical journal are providing important new insights into some of the furthest reaches of space ever.

Explore. Previously only the 1970s, vintage pioneers, 10 and 11 and voyages one and two spacecraft have explored the outer solar system and furthest breaches of the heliosphere the bubble created by the sun's atmosphere, which encompasses the entire solar system. But now new horizons using far more modern technologies doing the same thing.

The study's lead author and the Elliot from the Southwest research Institute in Boulder, Colorado says the sun's influence on the space environment extends well beyond the outer planets and new horizons is showing you aspects of how that environment changes with distance. The probies collecting detailed daily measurements of the solar wind, which has composed primarily of ionized hydrogen.

In other words, free protons and electrons, as well as helium nuclei known as alpha particles. And there are trace amounts of heavy ions and atomic nuclei, including carbon nitrogen, oxygen, neon, magnesium, Silicon, sulfur, and iron ripped apart by the extreme million degree. Temperatures in the suns outer atmosphere, the Corona you horizons is also collecting data and other key particles known as interstellar pickup ions in the outer heliosphere.

Now these industrial or pickup ions are created with neutral material from interstellar space. That is the space beyond our solar system and is the solar system and becomes ionized by light from the sun or by charge exchange interactions with solar wind ions. As the solar wind was further from the sun, it encounters an increasing amount of material from interstellar space.

Went into stellar materials, ionized, the solar wind picks up this material and researchers, their eyes slows down and heats up in response. And new horizons is now detected and confirmed this predicted affair. The authors compare the new horizon solar wind speed measurements from 21 to 42 astronomical units with a speeds measured it just one astronomical unit out recorded by Beth, the advanced composition Explorer or a spacecraft and the solar terrestrial relations observatory or stereo spacecraft.

By the way, an astronomical unit is the average distance between the earth and the sun, which is roughly 150 million kilometers or 8.3 light minutes. By 21 astronomical units at a paid new horizons could be detecting the slowing of the solar wind in response to picking up interstellar material. However, when you arrived and traveled beyond Pluto between 33 and 42 astronomical units out, the solar wind measured six to 7% slower than what it was at one astronomical unit distance, confirming the effect.

In addition to confirming the slowing of the solar wind at greater distances, the change in solar wind temperature and density also provides a means to estimate when you horizons would join the gorgeous spacecraft. On the other side of the termination shock, that's the boundary marking where the solar wind slows to less than the speed of sound as it approaches the interstellar medium, the Voyager one spacecraft crossed this termination shock in 2004 at 94 astronomical units.

It was followed by Voyager two in 2007 at 84 astronomical units based on the current lower levels of solar activity and lower solar wind pressures, the termination shocks expected or have moved closer to the sun since the voyage of crossings. Now extrapolating current trends in the new horizon measurements also indicate that the termination shock might be closer now than what it was when intersected by the voyages.

Scientist estimate that at the earliest you horizons will cross the termination shock during the mid 2020s. But as the solar cycle activity increases venue, you increase in pressure will likely expand the heliosphere and this could push the termination shock back out to around 84 to 94 astronomical units, the same range as found by the Voyager spacecraft.

And it could reach this distance before new horizons is time to read. Your horizons journey through the outer heliosphere contrast without of the voyages in that the current solar cycle is mild compared to the very active solar cycled. The voyage is experienced in the outer heliosphere. In addition to measuring the solar wind, you horizons is extremely sensitive and simultaneously measures the low of fluxes of interstellar pickup irons with unprecedented time resolution and extensive special coverage.

Also other than the junior spacecraft, new horizons is also the only spacecraft in the solar wind beyond Mars, which is roughly 1.5 astronomical yurts out from the sun and consequently, the early spacecraft measuring interactions between the solar wind and the interstellar material in the outer heliosphere cheering.

The current mild solar cycle. If all goes well, you know, horizons is on cause to become the first spacecraft to measure both the solar wind and interstellar pickup ions at the termination shock or keep you informed. This is space time still the cam experimental new rocket crashes and burns during lodge from the Vanderberg space full of space.

And later in the science report, climate change starting to show its effect on the genetic diversity of polar bears, all that and more stored. Um, space-time

and experimental new rocket has crashed and burned during its launch from the Vanderberg space for spacing, California. The 26 meter tall Firefly alpha suffered a sudden engine shutdown and one of its four main first stage murders, 15 seconds after launch. The two stage rocket continued to climb on its remaining three first stage engines, but ultimately fell to maintain control and tumbled out of the sky.

45 seconds into the mission. Triggering a self destruct over the north Pacific ocean. The cause of the rocket motor shut down was repellent main valve failure on the number two engine. The alpha is being developed to launch thousand kilogram payloads into low-earth orbit. That puts the company in direct competition with new Zealand's rocket lab, which has already placed 105 satellites into orbit and Virgin orbit, which has since 17 satellites into orbit about two flights using its launch, a one rocket which is dropped launched from beneath the wing of a specially modified Boeing 7 47 airlines.

This is space, time

and tie Meditech. Another brief look at some of the other stories making using science this week with a science report and you study claims the Madonna vaccine, which arrives on Australia this week generates higher antibody levels than the existing MRI and a vaccine produced by Pfizer. The findings, which are reported in the journal of the American medical association, uh, based on a new Belgium study, which included people who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Along with those who had not been infected and found higher antibody levels in birth groups, the authors say the higher MRNs content in the Medina vaccine, and the longer interval between doses four weeks as a purse to three weeks for Pfizer might explain this difference. But whether this difference translates into difference in duration of protection protection, against different variants of the virus and the risk of transmission still needs to be further investigated.

Meanwhile, a us study was that COVID-19 maybe more transmissible in households than previously. The findings reported in the journal of the American medical association brought together data from 37 separate studies together with a further 50 studies, they had previously analyzed representing a turtle of around 1.2, 5 million hassled in 30 countries.

The authors found that overall, the estimated chance of passing COVID-19 to another household member was around 18.9%. That's far higher than the previous estimate of 16.6% from the original 50 studies. However, research has also found that when household members had other existing offices, they had a 50% higher chance of catching COVID-19 in their homes.

And when looking at just the alpha COVID-19 variant transmissibility was also higher at 24.5%. The world health organization says more than 8 million people have now been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with over 4.6 million confirmed fatalities and some 230 million people infected since the deadly disease.

First spread out a warhead China and you study has shown that climate change is starting to affect the genetic diversity of polar bears as Arctic ice melt limits their range, consequently, their ability to integrate. The findings reported in the proceedings of the Royal society, be analyze the genetics of more than 600 polar bears from the Svalbard.

Archipelago in Norway side has found a three to 10% loss in genetic diversity among polar bears between 1995 and 2016. The researchers say the change in diversity could be explained by loss of vice coverage in the region leading to greater inbreeding, as it becomes harder for polar bears to move from one location to another.

Well, he weighed seven and a half tons and was over 14 meters long, but it seems Tyrannosaurus. Rex was not a huge beast, gobbling everything inside. Instead Japanese researchers say T Ricks likely had very sensitive drawers that could recognize different parts of their prey. The research has found that the nerves in the lower jaw of a T Rex were distributed in a far more complex fashion than those of any other dinosaur.

In fact, they were comparable with those of modern-day crocodiles, another member of the family and his tactile, some forging birds, which are known to have extremely keen senses. The findings reported in the journal. Historical biology could mean that in addition to hunting and eating T Rex's lower Jor tips could have been adapted to perform a series of behaviors with fine movement control, including nest construction, parental care, and even interest communication.

There are awardings today about a new set of Bluetooth malware, collectively known as Brett tooth with the details we're joined by a technology editor, Alex from it. Yeah, it's called

[00:25:18] Alex: Breck tooth and it was discovered by the Singapore university technology, Penn design. It's a way of hacking into Bluetooth.

And Bluetooth is obviously used in many different devices, from smart phones and computers and tablets, internet of things, devices. And what this vulnerability can do is allow arbitrary code execution, effective device arbitrary cut execution. People can install code to run on systems that you might not wish to have code running on that isn't authorized by you now just quickly.

Brack trace the wood is from the Norwegian and translates to crash in English. Two points towards

[00:25:58] Stuart: Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is


[00:26:03] Alex: only about 10 meters. I mean, there are certain devices that claim to work a bit longer than that, but normally Bluetooth is short range, but there are, there are 1400 different models of commercial products that have Bluetooth laptop. Has and commercial aircraft, heavy trucks, all sorts of things at the moment.

Most of the Bluetooth devices that are out there have drivers from Intel or Qualcomm or Texas instruments, other organization, and are various patches that are being written for these different devices. Not all of the devices had patches written yet. You'll probably find that your windows update or the updates for your various devices will offer updates to fix this, but not everything is going to be updated.

Texas instruments says that it will consider producing a patch only if demand by customers and a call comes also reportedly Petra falls and some of its devices, but there are some devices that they have no plans to patch. So this is where it's always important to make sure you are running. Software updates or firmware updates.

And if something is vital and there are no updates, then you have to replace it now because if a company's not updated, then that could potentially lead to a way of, you know, the bad guys breaking into systems. And sometimes some things that in theory, you wouldn't think would be vectors of hacking into a

[00:27:16] Stuart: network.


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[00:29:16] VO Guy:  You've been listening to Space-Time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production and from

Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Technology Editor

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows.