Sky Tour Radio Presents Mysterious Bursts In The Universe
March 25th, 2018
In this episode of SkyTour Radio, we highlight WD 1145+017 and Kepler 442b in our weekly Exoplanet Round Up. We discuss their light curves and spectrum’s as well as their likelihood of habitability.
Then, we take a closer look at Fast Radio Bursts and associated phenomena throughout the universe. We explore how they were first discovered, and discuss the possibilities of where they came from, how they may have been produced and what this means for the future of extraterrestrial life in the distance universe.
Also known as EPIC 201563164, this is a white dwarf star located approximately 570 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Virgo and was the first white dwarf to be observed with a transiting planetary mass object orbiting around it.
The supposed planetesimal, WD 1145+017 b, has a 4.5 hour orbit, and is being ripped apart by the star and is a remnant of the former planetary system that the star hosted before becoming a white dwarf.
It is the first observation of a planetary object being shredded by a white dwarf. Several other large pieces have been seen in orbit as well. All the various larger pieces have orbits of 4.5 to 4.9 hours. Rocky material is raining down onto the star, and showing up in the star’s spectrum.
The system was detected by the Kepler space telescope in its extended K2 mission. Though the system was not a target of interest, it was within the field of view of observing sessions, and analysis of the observed data revealed the system.
Kepler 442b is a confirmed near-Earth-sized exoplanet, likely rocky, orbiting within the habitable zone of the K-type main-sequence star Kepler-442, about 1,120 light-years (342 parsecs) from Earth in the constellation Lyra.
Kepler-442b orbits its host star with an orbital period of 112.3 days and an orbital radius of about 0.4 times that of Earth’s and receives about 70% of the sunlight that Earth receives from the Sun.
It has an equilibrium temperature of 233 K (-40 °C; -40 °F) and the surface gravity would be 30% stronger than that of Earth, assuming a rocky composition similar to that of Earth.
Fast Radio Bursts
In radio astronomy, a fast radio burst (FRB) is a high-energy astrophysical phenomenon of unknown origin manifested as a transient radio pulse lasting only a few milliseconds. The first FRB was discovered by Duncan Lorimer and his student David Narkevic in 2007 when they were looking through archival pulsar survey data, and it is therefore commonly referred to as Lorimer Burst.
Many FRBs have since been found, including a repeating FRB.
When the FRBs are polarized, it indicates that they are emitted from a source contained within an extremely powerful magnetic field. The origin of the FRBs has yet to be determined, though proposals for its origin range from a rapidly rotating neutron star and a black hole to extraterrestrial intelligence.
Fast radio bursts are bright, unresolved (pointsource-like), broadband (spanning a large range of radio frequencies), millisecond flashes found in parts of the sky outside the Milky Way. Unlike many radio sources the signal from a burst is detected in a short period of time with enough strength to stand out from the noise floor. The burst usually appears as a single spike of energy without any change in its strength over time. The bursts last for a period of several milliseconds (thousandths of a second). The bursts come from all over the sky, and are not concentrated on the plane of the Milky Way. Known FRB locations are biased by the parts of the sky that the observatories can image.
SkyTour Radio explores the Universe in a down to Earth manner explaining the science we know in fun and bite-sized terms. Science is for everyone and people shouldn’t require an advanced degree to understand as long as it is delivered in an easy to follow way. From Black Holes to Extraterrestrial Life, we will explore the Universe like never before. Join us to check out such things as how stars form, how they live and, how our fate is intertwined with theirs. On the extraterrestrial life front, we will be speaking to the UFO and science arena’s top researchers and bring UFOlogy into the 21st century.
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