Mysterious repeating waves from deep space are detected for second time

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Supernova remnants, one of the suggested sources for 13 FRBs discovered by a Canadian-led team. File photograph: Nasa via The New York Times

Mysterious repeating energy bursts from deep space that some experts have suggested could be evidence of advanced aliens have been detected for the second time.

The repeating bursts are an example of what are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), millisecond-long flashes of radio waves whose origin is unknown.

Most scientists believe they are generated by powerful astrophysical phenomena such as black holes or super-dense neutron stars. But a few scientists have suggested more outlandish theories.

  • Publisher: The Irish Times
  • Date: 2019-01-09T22:14:19+0000
  • Twitter: @IrishTimes
  • 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.)

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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
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Repeating fast radio burst detected from deep space

FRB’s were first detected accidentally in 2007, when a burst signal was spotted in radio astronomy data collected in 2001.

Over a period of three weeks last summer the team detected 13 of the flashes using a new type of radio telescope, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (Chime).

One of the FRBs was repeating. 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.

Where the FRBs come from is not known although they are thought to emanate from sources billions of light years away outside our galaxy, the Milky Way.