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Repeated radio signals are coming from a galaxy 1.5 billion light years away

Scientists have spotted strings of radio waves coming from beyond 1.5 billion light years in the galaxy. This is the second time such extra-terrestrial radio waves have been spotted which both intensifies the mystery and offers a potential opportunity to finally understand what might be throwing out the burst from a galaxy billions of light years away.

Fast radio emissions have been speculated to be the result of everything from exploding stars to transmissions from aliens. There is little evidence at all of where they might be coming from, leaving the mystery unsolved. The flashes are flung out with the same amount of energy the sun takes 12 months to produce but last only for a millisecond.

Probably the most interesting of the new series of radio waves is the one that was seen to be repeated six times coming from the same source. Of the more than 60 fast radio bursts detected so far, only one of them has ever repeated.

Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at UBC said, “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.”

Witnessing two repeated signals probably indicates the existence of a "substantial population" of repeating signals, according to two papers written by researchers published in the Nature.
Having two sets of repeating bursts could also help scientists understand what distinguishes them from single bursts, more about their source and watch for future blasts.

The researchers detected around 13 of the bursts in just a three-week period, offering a vast new treasure of data for the scientists pursuing their source. They also offer some evidence of the extreme or unusual environment they are coming from – or the mysterious technology that some claim alien civilisations could be launching them into space with.

“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,” states team member Arun Naidu of McGill University.

The radio waves were discovered by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment in British Columbia. Scientists had speculated that the range of frequencies it can pick up would be too low for it to receive the FRBs, but to their astonishment, it found far more than expected, and scientists are expecting it to identify even more. Of the 13 new blasts that were picked up, at least seven of them were recorded at 400 MHz – the lowest frequency of any yet discovered, which suggests there might be even more of them, too low to be picked up by CHIME.

Tom Landecker, a CHIME team member from the National Research Council of Canada, said, “[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. We haven’t solved the problem, but it’s several more pieces in the puzzle.”
Repeated radio signals are coming from a galaxy 1.5 billion light years away Repeated radio signals are coming from a galaxy 1.5 billion light years away Reviewed by Tim on August 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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