Are Blitzars an explanation for mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs)?

Astronomers have been puzzled by something called Fast Radio Burst (FRBs) for decades. FRBs are extremely high energy radio waves that often originate from a point in space and are caused by reasons we haven’t figured out yet. While some say that FRBs are definitely a message from aliens, some astronomers have something else in mind- the concept of the “Blitzar”.

What are Neutron Stars?

To understand Blitzars, we need to understand Neutron Stars first. Neutron stars are formed after a star dies in a supernova but does not have enough mass to become a black hole. Neutron stars are completely made up of Neutrons and they are small and very dense- 1 teaspoon of a Neutron Star will weigh billions of tons!

Understanding Blitzars

Some Neutron Stars have enough mass to become a Black Hole, but they don’t because the centrifugal force caused by the rapid rotation (more than 100 rotations per second) of the Neutron star JUST prevents it from collapsing under its own mass. Rotation causes the Neutron Star to Bulge at the equator, thus, slightly decreasing its density. This kind of a Neutron star has been named the Supramassive Rotating Neutron Star, or SURONs.

Eventually, the interaction between the Neutron Star’s environment and its extremely strong magnetic field slows down their spin. When this happens, centrifugal force fails to overcome gravity and the star collapses under its own mass to create a Black Hole. During this process, the part of the magnetic field of the original Neutron Star that lies outside the event horizon of the newly formed Black Hole is cut-off. The magnetic energy of the cut-off magnetic field is instantly transformed into a massive radio burst! This radio burst has been termed a Blitzar.

For now, all of this is pure speculation. We have no actual evidence that proves the existence of these bizarre objects. However, if we do discover Blitzars, we may open a whole new chapter on Black Hole formation.

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