The mere presence of periodicity in this FRB might give clues into what object could be producing it, according to the paper. Perhaps whatever is producing the radio bursts forms a binary with another celestial body, though the current data doesn’t reveal the identity of the FRB or the companion. Perhaps the object is a rotating magnetar, a kind of compact, “> magnetized neutron star — though the researchers point out that magnetars typically have rotation periods of less than (seconds, far shorter than the days recorded here.
Researchers with knowledge of the paper declined to speak with Gizmodo, since the peer-reviewed version of the paper It is currently under embargo by a major scientific journal.
The paper concludes that future observations will need to be carried out at all possible frequencies in order to distinguish between various hypotheses as to what this FRB could be.
We’ve been covering FRBs with much excitement due to their truly “ alien ”nature, though they’re probably not signals from an intelligent extraterrestrial society. While scientists have detected >> repeating FRBs before, more observations of periodically repeating FRB might add some clarity — or more frustrating confusion — to the story. (Read More)