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Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected

Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected

The fast radio bursts, named FRBs, were discovered by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) team in British Columbia, Canada.

While most FRBs have been spotted at wavelengths of a few centimetres, the latest FRBs were detected at wavelengths of almost a metre, which opens up new lines of inquiry, according to the CHIME team.

"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", he explained.

The researchers said that studying the fast radio bursts is a hard task because they're rare and only occur once.

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.

"The nature of fast radio bursts is still unknown, but the potential options for what astrophysical phenomena and environments could produce such bright, fast bursts across such a broad radio band continues to narrow as we discover more sources", Newburgh said.

Until now, only one FRB - which was labeled FRB 112102 - was found to repeat itself later on.

Having two sets of repeating bursts could also allow scientists to understand what distinguishes them from single bursts, helping them understand more about their source and watch for future blasts.

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"An FRB emitted from a merger of two neutron stars, or a neutron star and a black hole, for example, can not repeat". "But it has to be in some special place tog I've us all the scattering that we see". They can be found here and here.

While FRB 112102 repeated itself once, this new signal repeated itself six times, the study says.

The "scattering" phenomenon was detected in the radio bursts, which can help answer questions about the atmosphere surrounding the origin.

Team member Dr Arun Naidu, a space physicist at McGill University in Montreal, said: "Whatever the source of these radio waves is it's interesting to see how wide a range of frequencies it can produce". These are simply the lowest frequencies recorded so far for such signals. Avi Loeb, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who was not involved in the study, suggests the pulses could be "artificially produced".

In brief: In what is only the second time in history, astronomers have discovered ultra-brief repeating energy bursts from deep space.

This means that, since 400 megahertz is the lower limit of the telescope's capability, the signals may be occurring at lower frequencies still.

For now, all we have is two repeating sources and several dozen outliers-but at least it's a good start.