Astronomers have discovered 25 regularly repeating radio signals
Astronomers have managed to discover 25 regularly repeating radio signals recorded by the Tobiano Next Generation Radio Telescope (CHIME).
Like gravitational waves (GW) and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most powerful and mysterious astronomical phenomena to date.
These brief events consist of flashes that release more energy in one millisecond than the Sun does in three days. Most fast radio bursts last only a few milliseconds, but there have been rare cases where they have been repetitive and astronomers still don’t know what causes them.
The study was conducted with the Tobiano Next Generation Radio Telescope (CHIME) located at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) in British Columbia. With its large field of view and wide frequency range, this telescope has been instrumental in detecting more than 1,000 FRB sources to date.
Using a new type of algorithm, the astronomers discovered evidence of 25 new repeat bursts in the CHIME data recorded between 2019 and 2021.
Despite their mysterious nature, FRBs are ubiquitous, arriving on Earth approximately 1,000 times a day. None of the theories proposed so far can fully explain all the properties of eruptions or sources. Some astronomers believe they are caused by neutron stars and black holes, while others offer other explanations, including pulsars, magnetars, and gamma-ray bursts.
It is possible that FRBs are generated by extragalactic objects, and although there is no clear evidence for extraterrestrial communications, some experts believe that FRBs could be a form of extraterrestrial communication.
CHIME was originally created to measure the expansion history of the universe by detecting neutral hydrogen. Approximately 370,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe was permeated with this gas, and the only photons were CMB radiation, or radiation emitted by neutral hydrogen atoms. For this reason, this period is referred to as the “Dark Ages”. The dark ages ended about a billion years after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies began to reionize neutral hydrogen.