Something in Space has been shining every 20 minutes since 1988

Researchers they announced the discovery of an astronomical object called GPM J1839-10, which emits regular bursts of radio energy similar to a pulsar with an interval between pulses of 21 minutes. The nature and physics behind this behavior remain unknown, as it does not fit any existing astronomical category or explanation, making it a unique and enigmatic phenomenon that requires further study and observation.

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Ars Technica he says:

GPM J1839-10 was discovered in a galactic-wide search for transient objects – objects that aren't there when you first look, but appear the next time you check.

The standard explanation for a transient object is something like a supernova, where a major event gives a huge boost in brightness. They are at the radio end of the spectrum, there are fast radio bursts, but they are also very short, so quite difficult to detect.

In any case, GPM J1839-10 appeared in the search in a rather unusual way: It appeared as a transient twice on the same observing night. Instead of providing a short burst of enormous energy, like a fast radio burst, GPM J1839-10 emitted much lower energy in a 30-second burst.

Subsequent observations showed that the object emitted light quite regularly, with a periodicity of about 1.320 seconds (or 22 minutes). There is a window of about 400 seconds centered around this periodicity, and a burst can occur anywhere within the window and will last anywhere from 30 to 300 seconds.

While active, the intensity of GPM J1839-10 can vary, with many secondary bursts within the main signal. A search of archival data showed that signals from the same location had been detected as far back as 1988. So whatever is producing this signal is not truly transient, in the sense that the phenomenon that causes these bursts is not an event that happens only once.

Well, since every possible explanation is dubious, no one knows what will happen next.

The good news is that these items are so hard to spot that it's very likely there are many more. The bad news is that they are still difficult to detect.

The duration of the burst – up to 300 seconds – and the gap between the bursts means that short-rate observations are likely to be insufficient to detect them.

We would need instruments that stare at a region of space for at least half an hour or more. In the meantime, we can potentially narrow down the position of GPM J1839-10 to try to see if there is anything interesting at other wavelengths. The Best Technology Site in Greecefgns

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Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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