Repetitive Radio Burst From Distant Galaxy, Detected By Scientists in Okanagan Valley

12 January, 2019, 09:57 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • A Second Mysterious Repeating Fast Radio Burst Has Been Detected in Space

The cause and origin for FRBs remains unknown, however, some theorize that they're emitted from sources containing an extremely powerful magnetic field.

Additional bursts from the repeating FRB were detected in following weeks.

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.

The signal was detected by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), a radio telescope designed and built by Canadian scientists.

CHIME is a collaboration of over 50 scientists led by the University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Toronto, Perimeter Institute, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

"Whatever the source of these radio waves is, it's interesting to see how wide a range of frequencies it can produce".

CHIME reconstructs the image of the overhead sky by processing the radio signals recorded by over a thousand antennas. Some scientists had anxious that the range of frequencies it can pick up would be too low for it to receive the FRBs - but it found far more than expected, and scientists expect it to identify even more.

MYANMAR-SPACE-ASTRONOMY

Having two sets of repeating bursts could also allow scientists to understand what distinguishes them from single bursts, helping them understand more about their source and watch for future blasts. "It might point to a difference between their internal mechanisms". They're being described as "fast radio bursts".

However, Tendulkar said it was extremely unlikely the waves were caused by intelligent life.

The FRBs show various temporal scattering behaviours, with the majority significantly scattered, and some apparently unscattered to within measurement uncertainty even at our lowest frequencies. CHIME measures scattering more precisely than other instruments because it operates at lower frequencies.

As such, scientists believe that FRBs have a natural origin, and because of its short few millisecond-long duration, could possibly be the outcome of the merging of neutron stars. But in the two repeaters, astronomers found different spikes coming in at slightly different frequencies and times. And among them, a FRB flashed repeatedly six times in a row. The source is estimated to be about 1.6 billion light years away, so seeing any details of what's going on is not going to be easy in any case.

But, from whatever little data exists, most scientists do not believe that FRBs are attempts by aliens to contact us. Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb told Gizmodo that the reported results are "trustworthy and solid". They actually repeat themselves. It was beginning to look like the lone example, FRB 121102, might be a freak object, but this suggests that it may simply be rare.

"At the end of a year we may have found 1,000 more bursts". While it was waiting to come fully online, it picked up these 13 FRBs. That repeating FRB seemed to have originated from a galaxy located about 2.5 billion light-years from Earth. They're milliseconds in length and are typically thought to come from powerful space shit like black holes or super-dense neutron stars, but some researchers reckon they could even be evidence of advanced alien civilisations.

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