The strangest collision in the universe.  Something like this is hard to imagine

We are all accustomed to the fact that the smallest and largest space rocks fall into the Earth’s atmosphere. From time to time we go out in the evening, when the Earth passes through the debris trail left by the asteroid flyby, to see a real meteor shower. On the other hand, the dinosaurs discovered what happens when a rock several kilometers in diameter enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Of course, other collisions also happen on a daily basis in the universe.

In young planetary systems, scientists observe collisions of young planets. On the other hand, other scientists sometimes notice stars colliding, or galaxies eventually colliding. The universe is big enough for more unusual collisions to occur out there. Suffice it to mention here the collision of two neutron stars observed by the James Webb Space Telescope. However, astronomers have reported another type of collision that no one had ever thought of. However, it is possible that this is an explanation for the mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs) that have puzzled astronomers for many years.

What are fast radio bursts?

As a rule, these are very short flashes of radiation that are visible on Earth in the radio range, and they last only a few milliseconds. Initially, all FRBs were thought to be of extragalactic origin, but astronomers are increasingly spotting flashes of this type, which may also be within our own Milky Way. Despite a lot of research since the first radio burst was detected in 2007, astronomers are still not sure of their mechanism. The most popular theories suggest that magnetars, highly magnetized neutron stars, are the remnants of massive stars that exploded as supernovae.

An unusual way to produce radio flashes

It’s also possible that one of these radio bursts recorded in 2020 came from a magnetar whose magnetic field is a quadrillion (yes, a million billion) times stronger than Earth’s. This unusual object rotates on its axis in less than 4 seconds. Considering that its mass is greater than that of the Sun, and its diameter is only a few kilometers, this is truly an amazing feat.

Right before the flash, something happened. Analyzing the monitoring data, the scientists noticed that just before the FRB was emitted, the magnet rapidly changed its spin rate, releasing a lot of energy in the process.

in another condition Published in the periodical Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society The researchers proposed a possible scenario that could explain the entire event. Astronomers argue that the change in the magnetic star’s rotation rate and the subsequent emission of a fast radio flash are the effect of the impact on the asteroid’s neutron star.

As you might expect, this would be an iron-rich asteroid that accidentally got too close to the magnetar. The star’s gravity could tear such an asteroid apart and trap its debris in orbit. This, in turn, will change the magnetar’s rotation rate. Part of the asteroid debris, falling on the surface of a rotating star, must pass through its magnetic field and thus release a huge amount of energy, which we can observe hundreds and thousands of light years away in the form of a fast radio flash.

It is hard to imagine a body of its mass reacting to a random asteroid impact. This is a truly cosmic encounter between Goliath and David. The number of observed fast radio bursts indicates that such events may occur relatively often.

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