Heavy duty telescope recorded an unusual signal from space

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 5, 2018

Fast radio bursts are not uncommon, but are considered special because no one knows what their sources are.

There have reportedly been 30 documented FRB recordings since they were first discovered in 2007 - and while they remain one of the "most mysterious phenomena" in the universe, scientists adamantly believe that FRBs could give us a clue into what sort of extreme activities could be unfolding - up to billions of light years away - when they're detected.

But experts say it is the lowest radio emission received from beyond our Milky Way - and its source is therefore likely to be extremely powerful.

Located in British Columbia CHIME radio telescope (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) is looking for signals passing through the vacuum of space.

But FRB 180725A had a few more surprises in store. Most often, the telescopes don't hear anything unusual, but sometimes some unexplained signal breaks through the noise, and this is what happened the 25th of July. 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.

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"Additional FRBs have been found since FRB 180725A and some have flux at frequencies as low as 400 MHz".

Meanwhile, FRB 180725A was "clearly detected at frequencies as low as 580 MHz and represents the first detection of an FRB at radio frequencies below 700 MHz", Boyle wrote in his report. It was incredible how much energy is required to ensure that the radio signal could be done this way.

It's hard to know when, and with what amount of force, FRBs will occur, as scientists have yet to distinguish a pattern between them.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, astrophysics professor Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom discusses the possible sources of FRBs, noting that the recently-discovered low-frequency signals might shed new light into what causes this intriguing phenomenon.

Whatever it is - black holes colliding, a star exploding, or just some aliens having a really loud party - we'll probably have to wait a long, long time before science can say for certain. "It could even be some other physical mechanism that we don't yet understand".

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