Alien proof: Radio signals discovered in deep space

Alien proof: Radio signals discovered in deep space

Alien proof: Radio signals discovered in deep space

FRBs are short flashes of radio waves coming from far outside our Milky Way galaxy. "By detecting and characterising fast radio bursts at different frequencies, we can better understand which theories work and which do not". CHIME, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, is not yet working at full capacity.

Kaspi said CHIME quickly detected a source that sent out a series of six fast radio bursts.

Shriharsh Tendulkar, an astronomer from the McGill Space Institute and a co-author of the new study, said radio frequencies help scientists understand possible emission mechanisms, or processes, of FRBs, and also the effects that the radio waves encounter as they travel through space.

Dr Tendulkar is involved in building the CHIME radio telescope and is passionate about the origins and populations of FRBs and the relation between magentar and pulsar populations. The radio bursts were observed by CHIME at frequencies between 400 megahertz (MHz) and 800 MHz.

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IANS reported that the detection by Chime of FRBs at lower frequencies means some of these theories will need to be reconsidered. But the cylindrical instrument, which maps a 3-degree-wide swath of the sky every night, was already a dramatic improvement on more traditional telescopes, which can only focus on a single spot. "There are some models where intrinsically the source can't produce anything below a certain frequency".

The discoveries made by CHIME were presented Wednesday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle and published in a pair of accompanying papers in Nature.

Fast radio bursts are mysterious and rarely detected bursts of energy from space. The scattering details suggest there is something unique about structural characteristics of FRB sources.

Some of the signal-scattering patterns suggest that the sources of the bursts have to be in special types of locations - for example, in supernova remnants, star-forming regions or around black holes. "But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see", said Ng.

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Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada said they've discovered the second so-called "repeating fast radio burst" (FRB) ever recorded, according to a news release published January 9.

Interestingly, astrophysicist Emily Petroff, the first person to identify a FRB in real time, pointed out the similarities between the new "repeater" and the only other one to have been discovered. But for only the second time, they have now found one that repeats itself, making it more likely that we might find out where they come from. A repeating FRB, however, provides more opportunities for scientists to learn about these radio bursts and where they come from.

The mysterious radio energy flashes, whose source is yet to be discovered, have left astronomers baffled.

The other institutions with leading roles are the University of Toronto, the National Research Council of Canada, and the Perimeter Institute.

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