An international research team from the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) recorded a large number of fast radio bursts using a spherical telescope (FAST) (FRB 121102). Over 47 days, 1,652 outbursts were detected. The results are published in the journal Nature.

To date, this is the largest set of FRB events (fast radio bursts of several milliseconds of unknown nature – “Hi-tech”). This amount allows for the first time to determine the nature and energy distribution of any FRB.

FRB 121102 was discovered in 2017, it has a repeating signal. From August 29 to October 29, researchers observed a total of 1,652 bursts in 59.5 hours. Their frequency was constantly changing, the maximum number per hour was 122 impulses. This is the most significant for any of the known FRBs.

Thanks to this, the research team found a clear characteristic that caused the burst frequency to decrease. “The total energy of this burst is 3.8% of the magnetar, with a periodicity ranging from 1 ms to 1,000 s, which severely limits the possibility that FRB is coming from an isolated compact object,” said Dr. Wang.

FRBs were first discovered in 2007. These are short radio signals that appear randomly and disappear quickly, making them not only difficult to find, but also to study. Scientists do not know what could have caused such a short and sharp flash. This has given rise to many theories of origin, from star collisions to artificially generated messages.