CHIME telescope detects second repeating fast radio burst from other galaxy

CHIME telescope detects second repeating fast radio burst from other galaxy

Scientists have detected the second repeating fast radio burst (FRB) ever recorded, a discovery that may help determine the origin of these mysterious signals which have been linked with advanced alien technology in the past.

In a new paper published Wednesday in Nature, researchers reveal that a recently unveiled radio telescope in British Columbia - the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) - captured 13 more FRBs, but more importantly, it caught a second repeating FRB.

These 13 FRBs, which include the repeater, were detected on a much lower frequency than had been detected before.

This is only the second time ever there has been a repeating radio blast from deep in space, adding to the mystery of life in the universe besides our own and adds to the opportunity for scientist to understand what may be in the galaxies beyond ours.

Some of the signal-scattering patterns suggest that the sources of the bursts have to be in special types of locations - for example, in supernova remnants, star-forming regions or around black holes.

Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team said, 'Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB.

The source of these emissions is still unclear, however - and some suggest they could be from extraterrestrials.

A SETI project snatched a few just this fall, but another effort using a brand new radio telescope called CHIME that essentially points at the whole sky and chooses where to "look" using software.

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However, the source of these signals, originating from far outside our Milky Way galaxy, is not well understood.

From our limited understanding, we know that FRBs are extremely short and high-powered bursts of radio energy that were first observed in 2007. The latest burst of signals were recorded at a frequency of 400 megahertz, whereas the first burst was recorded at a higher frequency of 700 megahertz.

Repeating FRBs may be a rare finding, but they're even stranger than their single counterparts.

Significantly, the 2012 and 2018 "repeaters" have strikingly similar properties. "We haven't solved the problem, but it's several more pieces in the puzzle".

A group of scientists from the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research participated in research which was found to discover new fast radio bursts. It was also more twice as close to Earth as the previous repeater, popping up about 1.5 billion light-years away.

The CHIME (Canadian Hyrodgen Intensity-Mapping Experiment) observatory, located in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, consists of four 100-metre-long, semi-cylindrical antennas, which scan the entire northern sky each day.

As for what FRBs are and where they come from, little is known.

The goal: learn more about the powerful signals and where they come from. "That tells us something about the environments and the sources", said CHIME team member Dr. Tom Landecker, a scientist at the National Research Council of Canada.

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