Toronto, January 10
Scientists have detected the second repeating fast radio burst (FRB) ever recorded, a discovery that may help determine the origin of these mysterious signals which have been linked with advanced alien technology in the past.
Some scientists also believe that FRBs emanate from powerful astrophysical phenomena billions of light years away. However, the sources of these signals, originating from far outside our Milky Way, are not well understood.
In 2017, Harvard scientists have speculated that these FRBs might be leakage from planet-sized transmitters powering interstellar probes in distant galaxies. They said that since a natural origin cannot be identified, an artificial or alien origin can be contemplated.
“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,” said Arun Naidu of McGill University in Canada, who was part of the team that detected the signal.
The discovery of the extragalactic signal is among the first, eagerly awaited results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), a radio telescope inaugurated in 2017.
“Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB. Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there,” said Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team. The repeating FRB was one of a total of 13 bursts detected over three weeks during the summer of 2018, while CHIME was in its pre-commissioning phase and running at only a fraction of its full capacity.
Additional bursts from the repeating FRB were detected in following weeks by the telescope, which is located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. — PTI
About the emissions
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief (millisecond-long) but intense emissions of radio light, which can pack as much energy as our own sun produces over the course of nearly a century. Their source is the topic of much discussion and debate.
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