24/7 Space News
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
"Starquakes" could explain mystery signals
Data on earthquakes was taken from Japan's Kanto region (including Tokyo and Narita) and Izumo in the Chugoku region (north of Hiroshima). Black dots represent the epicenters of earthquakes recorded between May 6,2010, and December 31, 2012.
ADVERTISEMENT
"Starquakes" could explain mystery signals
by Staff Writers
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Oct 12, 2023

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are an astronomical mystery, with their exact cause and origins still unconfirmed. These intense bursts of radio energy are invisible to the human eye, but show up brightly on radio telescopes. Previous studies have noted broad similarities between the energy distribution of repeat FRBs, and that of earthquakes and solar flares.

However, new research at the University of Tokyo has looked at the time and energy of FRBs and found distinct differences between FRBs and solar flares, but several notable similarities between FRBs and earthquakes. This supports the theory that FRBs are caused by "starquakes" on the surface of neutron stars. This discovery could help us better understand earthquakes, the behavior of high-density matter and aspects of nuclear physics.

The vastness of space holds many mysteries. While some people dream of boldly going where no one has gone before, there is a lot we can learn from the comfort of Earth. Thanks to technological advances, we can explore the surface of Mars, marvel at Saturn's rings and pick up mysterious signals from deep space. Fast radio bursts are hugely powerful, bright bursts of energy which are visible on radio waves.

First discovered in 2007, these bursts can travel billions of light years but typically last mere thousandths of a second. It has been estimated that as many as 10,000 FRBs may happen every day if we could observe the whole sky. While the sources of most bursts detected so far appear to emit a one-off event, there are about 50 FRB sources which emit bursts repeatedly.

The cause of FRBs is unknown, but some ideas have been put forward, including that they might even be alien in origin. However, the current prevailing theory is that at least some FRBs are emitted by neutron stars. These stars form when a supergiant star collapses, going from eight times the mass of our sun (on average) to a superdense core only 20-40 kilometers across. Magnetars are neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields, and these have been observed to emit FRBs.

"It was theoretically considered that the surface of a magnetar could be experiencing a starquake, an energy release similar to earthquakes on Earth," said Professor Tomonori Totani from the Department of Astronomy at the Graduate School of Science. "Recent observational advances have led to the detection of thousands more FRBs, so we took the opportunity to compare the now large statistical data sets available for FRBs with data from earthquakes and solar flares, to explore possible similarities."

So far, statistical analysis of FRBs has focused on the distribution of wait times between two successive bursts. However, Totani and co-author Yuya Tsuzuki, a graduate student in the same department, point out that calculating only the wait-time distribution does not take into account correlations that might exist across other bursts.

So the team decided to calculate correlation across two-dimensional space, analyzing the time and emission energy of nearly 7,000 bursts from three different repeater FRB sources. They then applied the same method to examine the time-energy correlation of earthquakes (using data from Japan) and of solar flares (using records from the Hinode international mission to study the sun), and compared the results of all three phenomena.

Totani and Tsuzuki were surprised that, in contrast to other studies, their analysis showed a striking similarity between FRBs and earthquake data, but a distinct difference between FRBs and solar flares.

Totani explained: "The results show notable similarities between FRBs and earthquakes in the following ways: First, the probability of an aftershock occurring for a single event is 10-50%; second, the aftershock occurrence rate decreases with time, as a power of time; third, the aftershock rate is always constant even if the FRB-earthquake activity (mean rate) changes significantly; and fourth, there is no correlation between the energies of the main shock and its aftershock."

This strongly suggests the existence of a solid crust on the surface of neutron stars, and that starquakes suddenly occurring on these crusts releases huge amounts of energy which we see as FRBs. The team intends to continue analyzing new data on FRBs, to verify that the similarities they have found are universal. "By studying starquakes on distant ultradense stars, which are completely different environments from Earth, we may gain new insights into earthquakes," said Totani.

"The interior of a neutron star is the densest place in the universe, comparable to that of the interior of an atomic nucleus. Starquakes in neutron stars have opened up the possibility of gaining new insights into very high-density matter and the fundamental laws of nuclear physics."

Research Report:Fast radio bursts trigger aftershocks resembling earthquakes, but not solar flares

Related Links
University of Tokyo
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Chandra rewinds story of Great Eruption of the 1840s
Boston MA (SPX) Sep 27, 2023
A new movie made from over two decades of data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows a famous star system changing with time, as described in our latest press release. Eta Carinae contains two massive stars (one is about 90 times the mass of the Sun and the other is believed to be about 30 times the Sun's mass). In the middle of the 19th century, skywatchers observed as Eta Carinae experienced a huge explosion that was dubbed the "Great Eruption." During this event, Eta Carinae ejected betwe ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
India wants a space station by 2035, moon mission by 2040

US astronaut gets used to Earth after record-setting 371 days in space

Planetary Scientist Alan Stern Joins Virgin Galactic for Research Mission

HALO Space successfully completes second battery of test flights

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
'No prospects': Russians slowly leaving legendary spaceport city

NASA's innovative rocket nozzle paves way for deep space missions

New SwRI chamber simulates harsh acoustic environment of rocket launches

NASA conducts 1st hot fire of new RS-25 Certification Test Series

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Welcome to the Drillhole Family, 'Sequoia': Sols 3982-3983: Welcome

Taking a Rain Check: Sols 3977-3979

Cliffhangers go by the name of 'Stand By' in Mission Ops: Sols 3980-3981

Year 2075: Martian rovers saved from cyber attack

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Next-generation rocket for China's manned space missions on track

Experts advocate for greater international cooperation at China Space Science Assembly

Astronauts honored for contributions to China's space program

China capable of protecting astronauts from effects of space weightlessness

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Sidus Space reports registered direct offering and concurrent private placement for $2M

Launch of Ovzon 3 targeted for as soon as December 2023

Relativity Space and Intelsat sign multi-launch agreement for Terran R

Urban Sky announces $9.75M Series A funding round

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Revolutionary atomic sensor redefines radio wave antenna

Five Things to Know about NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications

Terran Orbital opens new printed circuit board assembly facility

NASA seeks development of universal payload interface

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Webb detects tiny quartz crystals in clouds of hot gas giant

Researchers capture first-ever afterglow of huge planetary collision in outer space

Extreme habitats: Microbial life in Old Faithful Geyser

Astronomers discover first step toward planet formation

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA's Webb Discovers New Feature in Jupiter's Atmosphere

Plot thickens in hunt for ninth planet

Large mound structures on Kuiper belt object Arrokoth may have common origin

Plot thickens in the hunt for a ninth planet

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.