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FRB traced to magnetised dead star


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Scientists have managed to trace a very short, very bright burst of radio waves to a type of highly magnetised dead star, known as a magnetar.

It's the first time a so-called fast radio burst, or FRB, has been pinned on a specific source.

FRBs were first detected in 2007, and have been one of the hottest topics in astronomy ever since.

The new discovery, reported in the journal Nature, was made by two independent radio telescope arrays in North America.

Full monty at the BBC: Link

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Astrophysics still being in its infancy in 2020. What's new?

The funny thing is, they are so clueless, they're still lead by observation first. First they have to see something to know it exists, and even then they struggle to explain it. If they knew their stuff they would be able to PREDICT the existence of such phenomena as FRBs even BEFORE the first observation. After all, given the laws of the universe being what they are, it follows that FRBs must NECESSARILY exist. In a universe of cause and effect, they are the direct product of preceding causes - indeed, they are the ONLY outcome possible from those exact givens. Which is exactly why they exist, right? If astrophysicists actually really understood the "givens" and the laws they would be able to predict what follows from them.

However the opposite is true. So much so that they can't even explain why magnetars exist in the first place. If stars are just interstellar dust that clumps together to form stars then why do some stars end up with a strong magnetic force while others don't? As the dust coalesces before the birth of the star, why does it start SPINNING to form an entire solar system with planets, instead of it all clumping together in the middle forming a single mass? What makes it all spin, where does the angular momentum come from? If it's all just dust, where did all the water on Earth come from? And why only Earth, where is all the water from all the other planets? Shouldn't there be frozen oceans on Mars? Why does Venus have a thicker atmosphere than Earth if it's a smaller mass planet, closer to the Sun - it's a hotter atmosphere (zinc boils on the surface), meaning the atoms and molecules bounce way faster, knocking each other out into outer space much faster, plus there is the Sun's gravity sucking it away, stronger solar wind and the stronger magnetic field of the Sun? Also Venus has almost no magnetosphere, nothing to keep such an atmosphere in place. Yet Venusian surface pressure is 90 times higher than on the heavier, magnetically shielded Earth, further away from the Sun. (Indeed, why do some planets have no magnetic field while others have a strong one? It seems to have nothing to do with mass.) So if we hadn't observed such a thick atmosphere, would astrophysicists be able to predict its thickness as well as its composition in advance, from data that they have from the time of the planet's formation? Could they predict that Venus will have a thick CO2 atmosphere but for some reason Earth will have a thin atmosphere with little CO2? I seriously doubt they could.

I could go on and on asking simple questions a child could ask yet no astrophysicist in the world be able to answer, just about our own solar system. I haven't even started asking why everything else spins, from subatomic particles through stars, planets and entire solar systems to entire galaxies. What's with the Universe's fascination with all this spinning? If you hold two rocks in space and let go they will attract each other and meet in the middle and stay there. No spinning. Same with 3 rocks, they meet in the middle. And so on. So why are most galaxies spinning? Where did the IMMENSE angular momentum come from? And to get back to the original question related to this article here, why do some neutron stars end up with a strong magnetic field while others with seemingly none? Can you predict which will come out eventually from a forming solar system? Can you tell in advance whether there will be a pulsar or a magnetar, and whether it will emit gamma-ray bursts, FRBs or something else, and how often, how many in total and for how long? Did you ever hear astrophysicists predicting the existence of accretion disks and jets before they were observed? Because these are all products of causes where we know the initial conditions, right?

In the possession of the initial conditions and with the laws of physics known we should be able to predict everything in advance to the last detail without even any observations, correct? Run a solar system formation simulation with all sorts of initial conditions and see the variety that pops up, look, there should be such a thing as FRBs, let's see if we find any, oh look, we were right. This is the kind of story you NEVER hear. What you do hear is scientists struggling to explain observed phenomena. Embarassing.

Can you predict the emergence of what we call life out of a bunch of lifeless rocks and chemicals? Can you predict that it will evolve so and so on a particular planet? Can you predict the emergence of consciousness? It's all just cause and effect, right?

More fundamentally, why do we keep discovering stuff instead of finding what we had been expecting all along? 'Cause we are smart and intelligent? Like I said. We are in a state of infancy. Now that is a relative term, isn't it? Why does the universe have to be so complex? It's just a bunch of atoms and a handful of laws and constants, yes? (Never mind asking where did these laws and constants come from, why are they what they are and why are there as many as there are and not less or more...)

So what does this all MEAN? There is an answer to that. I will let you ponder that one for a little while. It might give you some insight into the true nature of the universe.

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