Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected

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Among the 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away.

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“Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there,” said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they’re from and what causes them.”

The CHIME 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.

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Mysterious fast radio bursts from deep space ‘could be aliens’

The origin of fast radio bursts (FRBs), millisecond-long pulses of radio waves, is unknown, but most scientists say they are generated by powerful astrophysical phenomena emanating from billions of light years outside our galaxy, the Milky Way ‘ such as black holes or super-dense neutron stars merging together.

Some, however, including Prof Avi Loeb, from the Harvard-Smithsonian centre for astrophysics, have posited more outlandish theories, suggesting they could be evidence of incredibly advanced alien technology.

For only the second time ever, spanning more than 60 FRBs recorded to date, one of the FRBs was detected repeating.

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  • Publisher: the Guardian
  • Date: 2019-01-09T22:08:24.000Z
  • Author: Mattha Busby
  • Twitter: @guardian
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

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Astronomers discover 13 new fast radio bursts from deep space

Stars hang over the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Kaleden, British Columbia.

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Astronomers have detected 13 high-speed bursts of radio waves coming from deep space’including one that regularly repeats. While the exact sources remain unknown, the new bevy of mysterious blasts does offer fresh clues to where and why such flashes appear across the cosmos.

Fast radio bursts, as they are known to scientists, are among the universe’s most bizarre phenomena. Each burst lasts just thousandths of a second, and they all appear to be coming from far outside our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

  • Publisher: Science & Innovation
  • Date: 2019-01-09T14:11:22-0500
  • Twitter: @NatGeoScience
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

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The Mysterious, Repeating Nature of Fast Radio Bursts

Despite the nondescript name, FRB 121102 was one of a kind. Which raised a discouraging possibility: Could it be the only one of its kind? Each new pulse produced tantalizing data. But to really make sense of it, astronomers needed to find another’if any existed.

They began to search the sky, with focused attention and more powerful tools. And, to their relief, astronomers have now found that, no, FRB 121102 is not the lone example of this intriguing phenomenon.

A Canadian-led team announced Wednesday the discovery of a second repeating FRB. A newly built radio telescope in British Columbia detected six flashes from the same spot in the sky last summer. This FRB, named 180814, appears to originate about 1.5 billion light-years away from Earth, half the distance of the other repeating burst.

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  • Publisher: The Atlantic
  • Date: 2019-01-09T13:00:00-05:00
  • Author: Marina Koren
  • Twitter: @theatlantic
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

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Mysterious repeating radio signal in deep space discovered

The repeating FRB was picked up by a group of Canadian astronomers, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. It was one of 13 new FRBs the team detected during three weeks in the summer of 2018.

Until now, only one FRB ‘ which was labeled FRB 112102 ‘ was found to repeat itself later on. The Canadian astronomers say they’ve found a second repeating signal that is distinct from the first one. The new signal is known as FRB 180814.J0422+73.

“They’re in a completely different part of the sky and at least a billion parsec away from each other,” Shriharsh Tendulkar, a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University who is on the team, told’CNET. “We don’t know the precise distance to the second one yet.” (A parsec is a measure of distance equal to about 3.26 light years.)

Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected

The telescope only got up and running last year, detecting 13 of the radio bursts almost immediately, including the repeater.

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So far, scientists have detected about 60 single fast radio bursts and two that repeat. They believe there could be as many as a thousand FRBs in the sky every day.

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They include a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field that is spinning very rapidly, two neutron stars merging together, and, among a minority of observers, some form of alien spaceship.

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