Scientists Detect Second Ever Repeating Fast Radio Burst Among Bakers' Dozen

Mindy Sparks
January 12, 2019

Fortunately, researchers expect to know more about them sooner than previously expected thanks to technological advancements, particularly with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope, which is touted as one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world.

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.

The radio telescope was still in its pre-commissioning phase and operating with only a small amount of its full capacity in the summer of 2018 when it detected this and 12 singular fast radio bursts.

CHIME is a revolutionary new telescope, designed and built by Canadian astronomers. "When the first repeater was found, we didn't know if that was a unique object in the universe or if there was a class of these things, or if maybe all of the fast radio bursts actually were repeated, but numerous bursts were too faint for our telescopes to pick up".

They said the finding provides new details about the "puzzling" yet "brief" radio energy from outside the galaxy.


One of the astronomers involved in the discovery, Deborah Good, said to Nature that they do not have almost enough data to even begin explaining what makes FRBs.

Another clue is that of the 13 FRBs detected by CHIME, the majority of them showed signs of scattering, which is caused by the "different rays of light from the fast radio burst taking a slightly different path because of some material in-between the fast radio burst and the telescope", Pleunis said. The latest burst of signals were recorded at a frequency of 400 megahertz, whereas the first burst was recorded at a higher frequency of 700 megahertz.

CHIME is located at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia, Canada. "Our data will break open some of the mysteries of [the bursts]".

These are fast radio bursts, some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astronomy.

"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB". They're milliseconds in length and are typically thought to come from powerful space shit like black holes or super-dense neutron stars, but some researchers reckon they could even be evidence of advanced alien civilisations. "We would like to accurately localise them and understand which galaxies they are coming from". Some have suggested that it may be remnants of distant supernovae (exploding stars) or radiation emitted by supermassive black holes feeding on them. The presence of FRBs and their promised regularity of activity brings hope of future discovery."If we had 1,000 examples, we would be able to say many more things about what FRBs are like", said Good. "But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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