Repetitive Radio Burst From Distant Galaxy, Detected By Scientists in Okanagan Valley

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A Canadian-led team of scientists led by researchers from the University of Toronto detected a mysterious radio signal coming from outside our Solar System. 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.

The mysterious repetitive radio burst originated from a galaxy located at about 1.5 billion light years away from us and had been detected using the Okanagan Valley’s Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) radio telescope.

“Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB (fast radio burst). Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there. 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,” explained Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia.

Repetitive Fast Radio Burst From Distant Galaxy, Detected By Scientists in Okanagan Valley

Until now, Canadian astronomers have only detected 13 fast radio burst signals which are mysterious emissions coming from deep space, puzzling the scientists. However, one of those bursts, the repetitive fast radio burst, is the second repetitive one ever discovered by researchers.

Nonetheless, the mystery of these fast radio burst signals is maintained by how few the scientists know about what produces these bursts. It could be anything, the astronomers say, from a natural, yet unknown, process in the Universe to messages coming from extraterrestrial civilizations.

“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, and one of the authors of the study on the newly found repetitive fast radio burst from a distant galaxy.


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