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, McGillUniversity, University of Toronto, Perimeter Institute, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
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