FRB 121102 Intense Burst of 15 Weird Signals

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Michael Watson

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Message 1887714 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 15:24:41 UTC

The favorite explanation for Fast Radio Bursts seems to be magnetars, super-magnetized versions of ordinary pulsars. Like pulsars, these spin rapidly, with periods of around 1 to 10 seconds. Breakthrough Listen reportedly observed the star for about 5 hours. They heard, we're told, 15 pulses in that time. Since there are 1800 ten second periods in five hours, are we justified in wondering what became of the other 1785 pulses? Perhaps that question is part of the reason why at least two independent SETI projects are taking an interest in this FRB.
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Message 1887740 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 16:40:07 UTC

Maybe their spin axis is not aligned with the magnetic axis, so there is a wobble and the radio emission is not always in our line of sight. This is an attempt to explain things.
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Michael Watson

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Message 1887820 - Posted: 4 Sep 2017, 2:26:55 UTC
Last modified: 4 Sep 2017, 2:27:27 UTC

Perhaps that's what's happening. I was struck, though, by the observation that more pulses were seen in a much shorter period of time, than in the past. 14 of the latest ones were apparently spread over a period of only around 70 milliseconds. An additional one was apparently seen somewhere within the 5 hour observation window.

Unless precession carried the beam away from our view after 70 milliseconds, and brought it back again within 5 hours, it's difficult to see what became of the pulses within that gap. If the precession rate really were less than five hours, it seems that this fact would have become clear before now.
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Profile Jon Golding
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Message 1887860 - Posted: 4 Sep 2017, 10:21:34 UTC - in response to Message 1887820.  

Perhaps clumps of material are falling onto the magnetar and generating the bursts, or some other chaotic process that gives irregular bursts of activity?
If it was instead an ETI beacon, you might expect it to have a more regular output.
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Message 1887869 - Posted: 4 Sep 2017, 13:22:09 UTC
Last modified: 4 Sep 2017, 13:23:08 UTC

I could not find any name for this dwarf galaxy. Recently galaxy NGC 4993 was searched by EM telescopes as a possible origin of GW, still unconfirmed by LIGO and Virgo interferometers. But it was searched.
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Message 1887870 - Posted: 4 Sep 2017, 13:23:10 UTC - in response to Message 1887860.  

A communicative beacon is only one of a range of possibilities, connected with intelligent activity. Galactic-scale engineering (Kardashev type III civilization) is another, spacecraft propulsion, yet another.

It's interesting to note that the individual pulses received in the new observations were relatively narrow in bandwidth, and occurred at a number of different frequencies. That doesn't sound particularly like evidence of a destructive, or chaotic natural process. Further analysis of the pulses may reveal some coherent pattern.
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Message boards : SETI@home Science : FRB 121102 Intense Burst of 15 Weird Signals


 
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