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A weird, extremely powerful radio signal is puzzling astronomers

In galaxies far, far away, something or some other strange short bursts of radio waves are so powerful that scientists pick them up on earth. The unknown phenomenon, called rapid radio blasts (FRB), has taken an interest in researchers and researchers for almost a decade ago and has been a mystery ever since.

In astronomy, which in education is repeating the key to understanding. It is difficult with the FRB: most are one and the same, as in them randomly and disappear, leaving astronomers with some clues about what can happen.

Now, two pages of Wednesday published in the journal Nature, authored by a group of Canadian astronomers, presented a new and exciting development: astronomers discovered a second repeated FRB blast, allowing scientists to better understand this astronomical mystery.

"So far, there was only one known repeating FRB. Knowing that there is another suggests that there may be more out there. And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles were they come from and what causes them "Ingrid Traps, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia, said in a press release.

The second crime was discovered by a new radio telescope, the Canadian Fuel Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME).

"With CHIME mapping the entire northern hemisphere every day, we have to find more repeaters over time" Stairs added. "Knowing where they are will allow researchers to point to their telescopes on them, creating an opportunity to study these mysterious signals in detail."

In total, more than 60 FBRs have been documented, of which only two have ever repeated. The newly discovered repetitive FRB was one of 1

3 deficiencies detected during the summer of 2018, which were detected at wavelengths around one meter. Previously typical FRB wavelengths were close to a few centimeters. The Canadian researchers suggest that the new repeater may be 1.5 billion light-years away, which is about half the distance to the first repeater. (For the context, the diameter of the observable universe is about 46.5 billion light-years, and our galaxy is close to 100,000 light-years across, which means that this FRB is very far away.)

To the imaginative mind, the mysterious and comprehensive character of the FRB may sound like an intergalactic alien communication system, but researchers say it's very unlikely. But they think it is an unknown cosmic phenomenon, which is equally exciting.

"FRBs occur approximately once a second in observable volume of the universe. We could only lower the location of the two repeaters and have no final proof of their nature or origin," says Avi Loeb, chair of Harvard's astronomical department, to Salon via e-mail. "They may originate from a new cosmic phenomenon." Natural scientists say that the scattered samples suggest that FBR may be based in environments "which propagate radio waves more strongly than the diffuse interstellar medium in the Milky Way."

Likewise, because of the strong energetic nature of the FRB, they are probably not intelligent.

"It is unlikely that all FRBs are from alien civilizations because of the demands of cosmological distances, but possible," Loeb said. We prepared the figures in a paper with my postdoc, Manasvi Lingam, two years ago. One must use all the force that is absorbed by the earth from the sun. But a small part of the nearby FRB can be artificial radio beams that sweep over the sky. "

" It's hard to imagine that this kind of communication would make sense to broadcast, "said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), Salon. they are randomly distributed. "They do not come from a galaxy, they come from all over the world … and when it comes from the whole story, the story tells that it is nature, not aliens."

"It would be like everyone would dive up for the PTA meeting in the same outfit, "he added.

Loeb said to find out where they come from, you can look for them at other wavelengths or via other detection means.

" The way to find out is to discover them at other wavelengths [besides] radio or [f] into a galactic FRB where we could study their environment, "Loeb said." An FRB in the Milky Way would be ten billion times brighter than the FRBs we currently find at the universe side. It would be so bright that it could be detected with a mobile phone. "

How exciting it would be to call from an astrophysical phenomenon.

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