Researchers apart of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) announced this week that they recorded the second-ever series of fast radio bursts (FRB) from space.
"By detecting and characterizing fast radio bursts at different frequencies, we can understand better which theories work and which do not", post-doctoral fellow at McGill University, Shriharsh Tendulkar, told Cnet.
FRBs are thought to emanate from sources billions of light years away outside our galaxy, the Milky Way.
CHIME reconstructs the image of the overhead sky by processing the radio signals recorded by over a thousand antennas. They last less than a millisecond before they disappear, according to National Geographic.
The pre-commissioning phase meant that the telescope wasn't running at its fullest capacity.
Media from around the world are calling to ask about her team's out of this world discovery. Data recorded several years earlier by the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia showed a fleeting but powerful radio emission coming from an unidentified source in space.
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Physics professor Max Tegmark pioneered these kinds of telescopes.
The group used the CHIME telescope to process the signals.
The first repeated burst was discovered by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 2015.
We know one thing for sure, and that is that these bursts are not as special as scientists make they seem. "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", said Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at UBC.
The first FRB, designated FRB 121102, was discovered in 2007 using telescope data from 2001. Before CHIME, astronomers noted that most of the previously detected bursts had frequencies around 1,400 MHz, and some wondered whether CHIME would detect any bursts at all in its range of 400 to 800 MHz.
Canadian scientists have detected 13 new fast radio bursts, those mysterious, split-second, high-energy pulses that reach us from unknown origins billions of light-years away.
Another interesting twist has to do with the radio frequencies of the newly detected bursts. If we want to apprehend them one day, then it will probably be necessary to think and build even more sensitive instruments.
The University went on to say that FRBs are hard to research but could be linked to powerful astrophysical objects such as supernova remnants. There has been speculation that FRBs may be the remnants of distant supernovas, or radiation spewed out by supermassive black holes. "But it has to be in some special place tog I've us all the scattering that we see".