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Repeating, mysterious fast radio burst in deep space is truly odd

12 January 2019

Scientists around the world are abuzz at the news that a radio telescope in Canada has detected a slew of high-energy astronomical phenomena known as fast radio bursts (FRBs). Cherry Ng, an astronomer at the University of Toronto.

While a bunch of FRBs have been detected previously, this is only the second time one's been observed to repeat itself.

Discovered first in 2007, the researchers estimate that there are 10,000 fast radio bursts happening per day, or a radio flash every 10 seconds, in each area of the sky. But there are now two that have a peculiar ring to them.

As for the mystery behind the FRBs - and especially the repeating ones - the Canadian team hopes that with CHIME now at full capacity, more of these repeaters will reveal themselves.

This detection was made possible by a new radio telescope called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment or CHIME for short. The signal has been picked yet again.

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The scientists recently have highlighted the repeated radio signals blasts which have been coming from somewhere deep in the space. They are also more than a billion parsec away from each other. That repeating FRB seemed to have originated from a galaxy located about 2.5 billion light-years from Earth. More discoveries are likely on their way.

Masui and Mena Parra joined the MIT School of Science last fall from the University of British Columbia and McGill University respectively, where they worked on the Canadian-led project for the past five years.

CHIME reconstructs the image of the overhead sky by processing the radio signals recorded by over a thousand antennas.

The findings are set to be published in a paper which will be presented in an astronomer's conference in Seattle.

"If we had 1,000 examples, we would be able to say many more things about what FRBs are like", Good added. Still, the true origin of the signals has yet to be determined. This is especially important because it allows the researchers to categorize the signals based on the frequencies.

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The latest round of results brings the total number of FRBs detected up to around 60, a decade after scientists began looking for them. Getting closer to answers Let's touch on a few theories about FRBs.

Professor Avi Loeb, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the USA, has previously said that FRBs could potentally be evidence of advanced alien technology.

The repeating FRBs were detected during CHIME's trial run earlier this summer, which used only a small amount of the telescope's potential power.

Just recently, another interstellar object code-named Oumuamua was seen floating through the Earth's Milky Way. "When the first repeater was found, we didn't know if that was a unique object in the universe or if there was a class of these things, or if maybe all of the fast radio bursts actually were repeated, but numerous bursts were too faint for our telescopes to pick up".

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Repeating, mysterious fast radio burst in deep space is truly odd