Canadian Telescope Detects Second Source Of Repeating Fast Radio Bursts

Posted: Jan 12 2019, 1:11pm CST | by , Updated: Jan 12 2019, 1:13pm CST, in Latest Science News


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Canadian Telescope Detects Second Source of Repeating Fast Radio Bursts
Credit: University of British Columbia

The repeating FRB was one of 13 bursts collected during the summer of 2018.

For the second time in history, repeating fast radio bursts have been detected coming from way beyond Milky Way galaxy. The repeating bursts of radio waves were picked up by Canada’s CHIME telescope and indicate that fast radio bursts originate from extremely powerful objects that are capable of producing multiple bursts in just a fraction of the time.

"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB. Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there. And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they're from and what causes them.” Ingrid Stairs, a member of CHIME team and an astrophysicist at University of British Columbia, said.

Fast radio bursts, also known as FRBs, are flashes of light radiation that come from unknown parts of space and last only a few milliseconds. Since their discovery in 2007, roughly 60 bursts have been observed by five different telescopes worldwide. In the summer of 2018, a total of 13 bursts were collected over a period of just three weeks by extraordinarly powerful radio telescope, The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME). Of those, one source produced repeating fast radio bursts.

Repeating bursts from a single source had been found only once before, by Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 2015. As brief radio flashes appear to come from random directions on the sky and are easy to miss, researchers are unable to determine their relative locations. Moreover, they still don't know what causes these mysterious fast radio bursts.

"Whatever the source of these radio waves is, it's interesting to see how wide a range of frequencies it can produce. There are some models where intrinsically the source can't produce anything below a certain frequency.” Researcher Arun Naidu from McGill University said.

The discovery of second repeating fast radion burst ca be extremely important in the study of FRBs. Because of its repeated bursts, researchers have been able to study this newfast radio burst in much more detail than other FRBs. The latest data can also provide some idea of the environments in which they occur.

“(We now know) the sources can produce low-frequency radio waves and those low-frequency waves can escape their environment, and are not too scattered to be detected by the time they reach the Earth. That tells us something about the environments and the sources,” said Tom Landecker, a CHIME team member from the National Research Council of Canada. “We haven't solved the problem, but it's several more pieces in the puzzle."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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