Proof of LIFE: Scientists record mysterious radio signals from deep space

FRB Origin

A radio telescope in the Okanagan has picked up a repeating fast radio burst from space - only the second to ever be recorded.

The signals - known as fast radio bursts (FRBs) - have been speculated to be coming from neutron stars merging or even aliens.

"That could mean in some sort of dense clump like a supernova remnant or near the central black hole in a galaxy", said Dr.

The scientists recorded the bursts during a three-week period between July and August of 2018 while CHIME was still in a "pre-commissioning phase". A repeating FRB, however, provides more opportunities for scientists to learn about these radio bursts and where they come from.

The discovery is a sign that there could be even more repeating FRBs out there waiting to be found - and maybe even an answer to the mystery of their source. It is believed these FRB's emanated from a source located about 1.5 billion light years away and Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC), told reporters at The BBC , "Such an event has only been reported once before". These effects vary with frequency, and many of them become stronger at lower frequencies.

Canada's new radio telescope, built to explore the early universe, has turned out to be a handy hunter for the mysterious phenomena called Fast Radio Bursts (FRB).

Scientists have scores of theories about what might create such stupendous signals - spinning cores of collapsed stars, powerful magnetic fields around black holes, the fog of dust and gas from which new stars form.

While FRB 112102 repeated itself once, this new signal repeated itself six times, the study says. The new observations suggest FRBs are common at lower frequencies. The second repeater is much closer than the first one, but the pattern of emissions appears to be similar - "which is interesting", Kaspi said.

Loeb said we now know of two repeaters out of about 60 known sources, which "implies that the repeater population is not negligible but also represents a small minority, less than a tenth, of the entire population of FRB sources".

These sightings, described in two papers published by the journal Nature, are among the first results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) interferometric radio telescope. Before CHIME, astronomers noted that most of the previously detected bursts had frequencies around 1,400 MHz, and some wondered whether CHIME would detect any bursts at all in its range of 400 to 800 MHz.

Astronomers' studying of FRBs can teach those who study more about where the bursts come from, and whether that region in its galaxy is home to turbulent gas.

Such signals have only ever been detected once before, by a different telescope.

"CHIME is looking at the whole northern sky every day so there's plenty of possibilities to find more of these things", she said.

I think we're all secretly hoping it's aliens, and some experts think that's worth considering.

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