Scientists Pick Up First Mysterious Radio Signal From Deep Space

06 August, 2018, 10:12 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Scientists cannot explain the origins of a super-powerful ‘fast radio burst’ detected by a new telescope

A new radio telescope in Canada recently captured a unusual signal from deep space.

The pulse's fast, low frequency suggests that the blast was extremely bright and originated from an insanely powerful source somewhere in the cosmos.

Yet, unlike the previous FRBs detected by our telescopes, this particular signal, dubbed FRB 180725A, is even more enigmatic.

Since 2007 when the radio astronomers detected FRB signals for the very first time, only 24 such low-frequency super-fast bursts have been identified. According to the sources, this is the lowest frequency FRB in history - picked up by CHIME at a frequency below 700 MHz.

For example, FRB 121102 was detected repeatedly over several years.

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According to the MailOnline, the emission was detected by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment telescope, which has been operating for less than a year.

The reason this FRB, named FRB 180725A, was so special?

"The event is clearly detected at frequencies as low as 580 MHz and represents the first detection of an FRB at radio frequencies below 700 MHz", Patrick Boyle wrote in the report. CHIME was created to detect ancient radio waves sent out when the universe was just a toddler, some 6 billion to 11 billion years ago. Most of the radio signals received by CHIME come from our Milky Way galaxy. Most of the time, radio telescopes like this don't hear anything out of the ordinary, but every so often an unexplained signal finds its way through the noise, and that's exactly what happened on July 25th. "These events have occurred during both the day and night and their arrival times are not correlated with known on-site activities or other known sources of terrestrial RFI [radio-frequency interference]". Beyond the visible spectrum, space is a colorful mess of radio signals and microwaves fired off by flaring "suns", collapsing stars, crackling magnetic fields, roiling dust clouds and seething black holes.

"It could even be some other physical mechanism we don't yet understand". Scientists also believe that whatever produced the signal tends to be an extremely powerful extra-terrestial being.

In any case - whether the merger of black holes, exploding stars or just noisy alien party - we will need a remarkable patience, while science can give a precise answer about where are these fast radio bursts.


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