Radio Signals From A Galaxy Light Years Away Have Been Reported

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The repeating burst was among 13 fast radio bursts (FRB) recorded by a radio telescope located in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley.

All in all researchers spotted 13 bursts in a three week period.

A fast radio burst lasts only a few milliseconds; due to both the very brief appearance and the inability to predict where they will happen, it has proven very hard for astronomers to study the FRBs.

'Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there.

Although scientists have some theories about what causes the so-called repeating fast radio bursts (FRBs) and their origin, exact details are still unknown.

"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB", said Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at UBC.

She added that with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope "mapping the entire northern hemisphere every day, we're bound to find more repeaters over time".

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

This repeating FRB is one of thirteen (the rest are single bursts) announced today by scientists.

This second repeater, found among the first few CHIME/FRB discoveries, suggests that there exists - and that CHIME/FRB and other wide-field, sensitive radio telescopes will find - a substantial population of repeating FRBs.

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Most of the 13 FRBs showed signs of "scattering" that suggest their sources could be powerful astrophysical objects in locations with special characteristics, the scientists said.

Since then, CHIME has been at its maximum capacity, and it is expected to detect many more of the enigmatic pulses now that it is fully operational.

The low frequency of this new detection could mean that the source of the bursts differ.

Tom Landecker, a CHIME team member from the National Research Council, said the findings provide rich information about the sources and environments that generate fast radio bursts.

"That could mean [the source is] in some sort of dense clump like a supernova remnant", team member Cherry Ng, an astronomer at the University of Toronto, said in a statement.

"An FRB emitted from a merger of two neutron stars, or a neutron star and a black hole, for example, can not repeat".

The telescope at the Canadian observatory that found the latest signals had previously detected the lowest frequency FRB known on record at wavelengths of 400 megahertz, according to Nature. "But it has to be in some special place tog I've us all the scattering that we see". Some scientists had anxious that the range of frequencies it can pick up would be too low for it to receive the FRBs - but it found far more than expected, and scientists expect it to identify even more.

"[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", he said.

He added: "That tells us something about the environments and the sources".



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