It seems like sci-fi movies are becoming reality as a Canadian telescope discovers strange radio signals coming from space! These Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) happen every 16 days with regular intervals. Previously the same telescope detected multiple FRB in 2018.
According to a recently published paper, scientists have discovered innumerable random, one-off FRBs in the last decade, only very few of these signals have been repeated. The FRBs are not only being repeated but also being sent out at regular intervals.
What Exactly Are Fast Radio Bursts?
FRBs are these bright radio signals coming from space. In the beginning, the detection was slim and infrequent, but later more were found with help from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst (CHIME/FRB) Project.
Scientists have found a few repeating FRBs in the past.
This new FRB is known as the “FRB 180916.J0158+65”.
What Is CHIME?
CHIME or Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment is a kind of radio telescope in Okanagan, British Columbia.
With four half-cylinders laid next to one another, functioning like a fixed antenna to scan the sky, this is truly one of the best of its kind. It is designed to map the signal from hydrogen atoms, the universe’s most found element.
CHIME with the help of its wide field of view and the broad range of electromagnetic radiation frequencies, can capture an impressive range of electromagnetic radiation frequencies.
According to the official website, it can scan 1,024 points in the sky with 16,000 different frequencies, 1,000 times per second.
FRB 180916.J0158+65 gives out fast signals once every 16 days. The signal lasts for four days and then it is nowhere to be found for the next 12 days before repeating itself, according to the recently published research paper.
The first cycles were detected between September 2018 and October 2019, spanning almost one year. With this consistency, the team had sufficient data to eliminate coincidences.
The EVN or European Very-long-baseline-interferometry Networ of telescopes further confirmed the CHIME findings, spotting the burst of this new FRB on June 19, 2019.
“Our results suggest a mechanism for periodic modulation … and disfavour models invoking purely sporadic processes,” the organisation said.
Findings Of The Team
The bursts’ timing or reoccurrence at regular intervals is not enough to guess what object lies behind the strange phenomenon.
According to the paper, the bursts could be coming from a binary star (two stars locked into an orbit) accompanied by a third celestial body. There’s another possibility that this signal could be coming from a highly magnetized neutron star.
CHIME researchers announced in January that they had traced that same signal back to a galaxy which is about a 500 million light-years away from Earth.
These are probably not signals from an intelligent extra-terrestrial society, scientists have detected frequenting FRBs before. With such more observations, the matter will be more frequently researched.
The CHIME team and their latest findings will hopefully shed more light on the mysterious origins of the radio signals which travel throughout the universe.
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