Second fast radio burst detected in space

Katie Ramirez
January 12, 2019

"Now we're showing, no, at least one other repeats".

The flashes last only for a millisecond but they are ejected with the same level of energy the sun takes 12 months to produce.

Similarities indicate the possibility of the same emission mechanisms or propagation effects, they said.

"Good reported the first results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), a telescope that was originally created to explore the early Universe but has turned out to be ideal for detecting FRBs". The radio bursts were observed by CHIME at frequencies between 400 megahertz (MHz) and 800 MHz.

The mystery of fast radio bursts has always been a large part of their appeal, Ng said.

"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB". They don't know whether the bursts are like flashbulbs, lighting up the sky in every direction, or focused beams, which would require less energy but must be more frequent for Earth to see so many of them.

"And with more repeaters available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles a bit better", Stairs added.

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The first FRB was spotted, or rather "heard" by radio telescopes, back in 2001 but wasn't discovered until 2007 when scientists were analysing archival data. Others say they could be evidence of advanced alien technology. What's more the lowest radio frequency recorded previously was 700 Mhz. And the existence of a second repeater means 2012's was not a fluke or an instrument error - something is producing these repeating bursts of light, and it's clearly fixed in place over long periods of time.

Emily Petroff, an astronomer from ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and an expert on FRBs, thought the methods "were particularly good" in these papers, and she liked how the CHIME astronomers didn't "over-interpret the data from shaky calibration".

Despite the relative scarcity of recorded FRBs, these signals could eventually be more regular than we think.

The majority of the 13 FRBs detected showed signs of 'scattering, ' a phenomenon that reveals information about the environment surrounding a source of radio waves.

The CHIME team believes this scattering is indicative of powerful astrophysical objects at the source of the bursts.

"Or near the central black hole in a galaxy".

Such signals have only ever been detected once before, by a different telescope. That suggests there might be even more of them, too low to be picked up by CHIME. The source is from something with an extremely powerful magnetic field that produces a signal along the radio frequency band. What's more interesting is that one of the FRBs recorded by CHIME was repeating in nature and is claimed to have repeated six times from the same location. CHIME is a partnership between the University of British Columbia, McGill University, the University of Toronto and the Canadian National Research Council's Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.

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