Astronomers intercept mysterious repeating radio signals from space

Scientists Find 13 Mysterious Deep Space Flashes Including 2nd Known'Repeater

Scientists Find 13 Mysterious Deep Space Flashes Including 2nd Known'Repeater

Now imagine a flash like this going off almost every minute all across the cosmos. "It helps us build a more complete picture of the Universe". Professor Avid Loeb from the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the United States, said the bursts could be evidence of advanced alien technology.

The only other known FRB repeater was discovered in 2012 using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. Known as "fast radio bursts", (FRBs) the repeating nature of the waves makes it possible to track its source, if only for a brief moment.

This sudden influx of tantalising clues has made astrophysicists nearly giddy.

Indeed, it's still early days in our understanding of FRBs, but a pair of papers published today in Nature are offering tantalising new clues about this enigmatic feature of the cosmos.

Last summer over three week the team found 13 flashes using a raid telescope called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (Chime). It's believed there could be about 1,000 FRBs in the sky every day.

CHIME has been fully operational since September.

"As a scientist I can't rule it out 100 percent".

The discovery is a sign that there could be even more repeating FRBs out there waiting to be found - and maybe even an answer to the mystery of their source.

Canadian scientists have detected 13 new fast radio bursts, those mysterious, split-second, high-energy pulses that reach us from unknown origins billions of light-years away.

A fast radio burst lasts only a few milliseconds; due to both the very brief appearance and the inability to predict where they will happen, it has proven very hard for astronomers to study the FRBs.

These radio bursts are only millisecond-long radio flashes, and such rapid bursts themselves aren't rare in space.

It has been speculated that FRBs may be caused by exploding stars, magnetic fields or even alien transmissions. However, the source of these signals, originating from far outside our Milky Way galaxy, are not well understood.

The paper noted that this dedispersion transform, in which signals are converted from time and frequency, into time and dispersion measure, to allow "efficient detection of dispersed impulse signals".

"It's really think that this is maybe a defining feature", Ng said.

Artist's impression of the active galactic nucleus shows the supermassive black hole at the center of the accretion disk sending a narrow high-energy jet of matter into space, perpendicular to the disc in this image by Science Communication Lab in Kiel Germany, released on July 12, 2018.

"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB".

But that's just one of the riddles associated with this "fantastic phenomenon", said Tendulkar. Perimeter Institute astronomer Dr Dustin Lang said on Wednesday this week: "We have more ideas of what they could be than we have actually detected fast radio bursts". FRBs are among the few types of signal that interact with the diffuse fog of electrons that exists between galaxies.

Stairs added: "Knowing where they are will enable scientists to point their telescopes at them, creating an opportunity to study these mysterious signals in detail".

Incredible - we're very much looking forward to that as well.

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