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techkenyot.com June 17, 2019


UBC scientists record second repeating radio burst from outside our galaxy

12 January 2019, 02:25 | Edward Lowe

UBC scientists record second repeating radio burst from outside our galaxy

Scientists Have Discovered a Mysterious Repeating Radio Signal from Deep Space

"Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there", Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at University of British Columbia (UBC), added.

First spotted in 2007, scientists still don't know much about FRBs other than the fact they manifest as a transient radio pulse that last for a few milliseconds.

As per a new discovery, published in the journal Nature, astronomers at the CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) have detected mysterious radio signals from an unknown location believed to be in deep space.

The so-called repeating fast radio bursts were identified during the trial run last summer of a built-for-purpose telescope running at only a fraction of its capacity.

Some have suggested that these radio waves might not be natural, and could come from advanced alien races.

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While it's not known what causes them, there are a number of theories out there.

This visible-light image shows the host galaxy of the fast radio burst FRB 121102. Some have proposed explanations, such as energy being flung as black holes tear stars apart, or perhaps even distant alien civilizations sending out long-range signals in the hopes of finding intelligent life.

"Most of the, sort of, reasonable theories involve a neutron star, or possibly a black hole", she explains.

The CHIME researchers are working with an array of antennas in central New Mexico to pin down the galaxy to which the second repeater belongs.

Two researchers, combing the archives of the Parkes Observatory in Australia, found a radio signal the observatory recorded six years prior, but that nobody had noticed.

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Unlike typical FRBs that come and go, the discovery of a repeating FRB is vital to increasing our understanding of them, as we are able to train our radio telescopes towards them to study them further.

The first repeating FRB was detected in 2012 and appears to originate out of a galaxy located some 2.5 billion light years away from Earth.

A fast radio burst lasts only a few milliseconds; due to both the very brief appearance and the inability to predict where they will happen, it has proven very hard for astronomers to study the FRBs. They were picked up by a telescope in Canada. "Our data will break open some of the mysteries of FRBs".

The "scattering" phenomenon was detected in the radio bursts, which can help answer questions about the atmosphere surrounding the origin. But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see'.

Most previously detected FRBs have had frequencies of around 1,400 megahertz (MHz), but the new ones fell within a range below 800 MHz.

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CHIME is a collaboration of over 50 scientists led by the University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Toronto, Perimeter Institute, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).



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