Mysterious radio signals from outer space detected


And if CHIME was able to make these detections before it was even fully up and running, the researchers are hopeful that the new radio telescope will help them find answers about these mysterious signals.

For the second time in history, astronomers have detected a repeating fast radio burst (FRB) originating from outside the Milky Way. Most of the bursts that scientists detect come from a spot in space that never produces another such signal. The discovery was made last summer, during a test-run of the new telescope, Stairs said. With more data on fast radio bursts, including their sources and behavior, it's only a matter of time before astronomers and astrophysicists unravel their mystery.

The only other known repeated radio burst was captured in 2012 and originated in a galaxy 2.5 billion light-years away from Earth, Nature reported.

That has led to speculation they could be coming from a huge undiscovered star, jets emerging from a black hole - or even an artificial source such as alien life. Previous studies have suggested that FRBs may be the remnants of distant supernovas, or radiation spewed out by supermassive black holes. "But it has to be in some special place tog I've us all the scattering that we see".

Stairs said that their next steps will be to gain a better understanding of the FRBs' environments and what causes them. To search for FRBs, the telescope will continuously scan the sky for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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One of the FRBs, which has been called "the repeater", came from a region of space some 1.5 billion light years away, the team behind the discovery noted in the journal Nature. That burst was remarkable in another way-it's only the second "repeating" FRB ever discovered.

Of more than 60 FRBs detected to date, such repeating bursts have only been picked up once before, by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 2015.

Since getting past the pre-commissioning phase, CHIME has detected emissions in multiple events - seen down to 400 MHz, the lowest radio frequency to which it is sensitive. "There are some models where intrinsically the source can't produce anything below a certain frequency", IANS quoted team member Arun Naidu of McGill University as saying.

"If we had 1,000 examples, we would be able to say many more things about what FRBs are like", Good added. These bursts might be more common than we had ever thought because we can't really notice them.

The scientists note that the repeaters were observed at a lower frequency compared to other recorded FRBs. Avi Loeb, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who was not involved in the study, suggests the pulses could be "artificially produced".

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