Astronomers detect radio signals from deep space

Astronomers from the University of British Columbia have picked up 13 radio burst signals emanating from an unknown source they claim is about 1.5 billion light years away.

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 telescope has been in use for only a year, detecting 13 of the radio bursts nearly immediately, including the repeater.

Known as "fast radio bursts", (FRBs) the repeating nature of the waves makes it possible to track its source, if only for a brief moment. The amount of scattering observed by the CHIME team led them to conclude the sources of FRBs are powerful astrophysical objects more likely to be in locations with special characteristics.

FILE - The world's largest single-dish radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, photographed July 13, 2016. Seeing a signal at all indicates something big, like a black hole collision, could be the cause.

Scientists believe there could be up to a thousand FRBs in the sky every day.

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Loeb proposed a series of suggestions that completely smashed the "scientific firewall"; he theorized that FRBs might be "evidence of incredibly advanced alien technology".

Take a deep breath, because here come some breathtaking numbers from the CHIME arXiv paper: "The computational challenge of the CHIME/FRB search is enormous: The input data rate is 1.5PB/day, and the dedispersion transform computes 10 SNR values per second (total for all beams)".

One of the FRBs they discovered was repeating, like the one previously found by accident in 2001. "But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see", said Ng. The discovery of a repeater was a huge deal because it meant that the source of this particular FRB, and possibly others, wasn't the result of a cataclysmic explosion, but rather something that persists through time. Launched in 2017, the project is a collaboration of Canadian scientists from the University of British Columbia, McGill University, the University of Toronto, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and the National Research Council of Canada. The first repeating fast radio burst was recorded at a frequency of 700 megahertz, but some of the bursts CHIME recorded were as low as 400 megahertz.

"The fact that the bursts are repeated rules out any cataclysmic models in which the source is destroyed while generating the burst", Tendulkar added. CHIME identified a fast radio burst with the lowest dispersion yet discovered, suggesting its source is the closest to Earth.

FRBs are typically in the 1,400 MHz range, and the previous lowest radio frequency was at 700 MHz.

"This tells us more about the properties of repeaters as a population". They're hoping this new data will help them figure out more details about what created them.

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