More Mysterious Stuff Coming From Deep Space

Adjust Comment Print

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence", said Loeb in a statement after the publication of a previous paper in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Collaboration have spotted 13 new fast radio bursts (FRB) - powerful radio flashes probably arriving from far outside the Milky Way, with mysterious origins that continue to be a matter of debate.

One of the FRBs they discovered was repeating, like the one previously found by accident in 2001.

Astronomers have been finding FRB's since 2002, though dozens of discoveries have shed little light on what these signals are or where they originate.

Astronomers have recorded repetitive radio signals from deep space. If observers could find 13 such bursts this early into CHIME's lifespan, there's a real possibility that it will find others.

That has led to speculation they could be coming from a huge undiscovered star, jets emerging from a black hole - or even an artificial source such as alien life.

The stunning rate at which CHIME detected the FRBs is due to its revolutionary design.

"The telescope has no moving parts".

Stairs added: "Knowing where they are will enable scientists to point their telescopes at them, creating an opportunity to study these mysterious signals in detail". "This is done using clever algorithms and a couple of giant computer clusters that sit beside the telescope and crunch away at the data in real time".

The CHIME telescope in Canada. That FRB was discovered by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 2015. None of these theories can really be tested yet because there's been one problem with studying fast radio bursts: majority are one-and-done, detected and then gone in an instant.

It is again a mystery for the scientists and a potential chance so that they could understanding what is the main cause behind these bursts from a galaxy that is no less than 1.5 billion light years away from where we are today.

The CHIME team believes this scattering is indicative of powerful astrophysical objects at the source of the bursts.

The most recent spate of FRBs, including the 'repeater, ' was discovered by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (or CHIME), which picked up a total of fourteen FRBs, including six from the same source.

Of more than 60 fast radio bursts detected so far, only one of them has ever repeated. CHIME can only record signals between 400 MHz and 800 MHz. That suggests there might be even more of them, too low to be picked up by CHIME.

A member the team Dr Cherry Ng from the University of Toronto in Canada said: "That could mean in some sort of dense clump like a supernova remnant".