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The highly unusual repeating signal was among 13 fast radio bursts - known as FRBs - and came from the same source, about 1.5 billion light years away.

They were picked up by researchers using the CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) telescope in British Columbia. The bursts were recorded by scientists during a period of three weeks during the summer of 2018 while the CHIME was not out of its "pre-commissioning phase".

Of course, if you're Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian centre for astrophysics, you already have a few ideas-including the theory that FRBs are evidence of powerful alien spaceship launches.

Although the researchers don't believe the signal to be emitted by an extraterrestrial civilization, the repetitive fast radio burst coming from a distant galaxy puzzled them. "We haven't solved the problem, but it's several more pieces in the puzzle", Tom Landecker, a Chime team member from the National Research Council of Canada, said.

CHIME team member Prof Stairs said: "Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB". Most probably these bursts are the most exciting to the scientists who have now been repeated for six times and nearly all seems to be exploded from the similar locations. Amazingly, among the newly captured signals are seven bursts that registered at 400 megahertz, The only other repeating radio burst from a single source was an FRB discovered by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 2015.

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We still don't know what's create this or any other fast radio burst, which only adds to the mystery. That suggests there might be even more of them, too low to be picked up by CHIME, reported The Independent. According to the study authors, this delayed repetition rules out "cataclysmic events" like supernovas as a likely source of the repeated blasts, as bursts from an exploding star would be expected to happen just once.

At distances of billions of light years it's obviously very hard to test any of these theories, but detecting more FRBs, especially those that have a habit of repeating, could bring us closer to an explanation.

The latest round of results brings the total number of FRBs detected up to around 60, a decade after scientists began looking for them. "It could be colliding black holes but you don't expect black holes to collide and then an hour later collide again, and then after that to collide again, right?"

"This is good news for radio telescopes that are sensitive at lower radio frequencies", she said. Most of the FRBs previously detected had been found at frequencies near 1,400 megahertz, well above the Canadian telescope's range of 400 megahertz to 800 megahertz.


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