The researchers detailed their findings in a pre-print article published on arXiv, ahead of receiving peer review. Fast radio burst is a term used in radio astronomy to describe very short transient radio bursts, usually under a few milliseconds long.
The fast radio burst that repeats every 16 days was detected by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, a radio telescope designed and built by several groups of Canadian scientists to study space phenomena.
Astronomers have discovered new Fast Radio Bursts or FBR's coming from outer space. And as Eric Sorensen reports, now the question is: Who or what is sending them? In January 2020, they revealed a paper within the journal Nature that reanalyzed outdated knowledge and located multiple bursts from FRB 180916.J0158+65. Researchers hope that tracing the burst's origin will help them to determine what caused it.
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Last year, the CHIME/FRB collaboration detected the sources of eight new repeating FRBs and its signal.
The bursts originated from a galaxy about 500 million light-years away.
There was no mention of extraterrestrial life as a possibility for the radio bursts.
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The origin of FRBs hasn't been established yet, although the dominant theories regarding them suggest the signals are produced by rapidly rotating bodies such as neutron stars or black holes. FRB 180916 was traced to one of the spiral arms of a Milky Way-esque galaxy.
Since it was the discovery in 2017, the signals have repeated steadily, and now it adds up the mystery quotient surrounding this FRB. They have considered the orbital motion of a star or an object that may be acting as a companion in the outskirts of the galaxy.
The authors of the paper are part of the CHIME/FRB Collaboration. Their diameters are comparable to the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta, but they are incredibly dense, with masses bigger than that of our sun. The interaction between these two, and the wind coming off of the OB-type star, could factor into the cause of the repeating FRB's pattern.
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CNN said astronomers can use FRBs to better map how matter is distributed across the universe. It appears to be transmitting signals that reach Earth in a repeating, 16-day pattern, but researchers have no idea why. That way, they'll know if this kind of periodicity is the exception or routine behavior.