A mysterious repeating radio signal has been detected from far outside our galaxy - only the second ever recorded.
Moreover, other than this, a total number of 60 fast radio bursts have been detected till now and just one out of that 60 have been repeated so far. The telescope is located at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton, B.C. Though researchers have been able to track down the area of origin for at least one FRB, it's usually hard to study one.
Detection of the first fast radio bursts There is an array of radio signals and microwaves cast out by distant stars, black holes, and other celestial bodies, all bombarding our planet at any given time.
"These repeat bursts are consistent with originating from a single position on the sky, with the same dispersion measure", the researchers' report states of the detected "repeater".
The telescope, which resembles a set of skateboarding half-pipes, was built as part of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) to record radio signals from outer space.
Within weeks of CHIME's FRB-detecting software being activated last summer ― in what Lang said was only a testing phase that didn't run on full capacity ― CHIME detected these 13 new bursts. However, the new telescope allows scientists to pick up lower frequencies at a range of 400 to 800 megahertz, potentially increasing their chances of finding more repeated FRBs in the future.
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Most fast radio bursts pop up and disappear in short order. Data recorded several years earlier by the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia showed a fleeting but powerful radio emission coming from an unidentified source in space. Moreover, the CHIME scientists, in this study suggest that FRBs are more common than our current technology is able to reflect. It's easier, therefore, to measure and understand these effects at lower frequencies.
The signals consist of 13 fast radio bursts, known as "FRBs". But in the two repeaters, astronomers found different spikes coming in at slightly different frequencies and times. "Maybe repeaters aren't as rare as FRB 121102 led us to fear". Thousands could even discreetly reach us each day.
CHIME is a fixed radio telescope that covers more area than a football field and passively scans the skies 24/7 as Earth rotates. While it was waiting to come fully online, it picked up these 13 FRBs. It was also more twice as close to Earth as the previous repeater, popping up about 1.5 billion light-years away.
"We were relieved and very happy", said the UBC astrophysicist. "It could be colliding black holes but you don't expect black holes to collide and then an hour later collide again, and then after that to collide again, right?"
The first FRB was spotted, or rather "heard" by radio telescopes, back in 2001 but wasn't discovered until 2007 when scientists were analysing archival data.
Tendulkar told Gizmodo that there's still plenty of work to be done, both in terms of detecting and characterising FRBs. The mystery about why these bursts happen and where they come from continues, which always spurs believers to think that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are creating them. "But it has to be in some special place tog I've us all the scattering that we see". "So explaining their nature has become one of the biggest unsolved problems in astrophysics in the last few years".