Proof of LIFE: Scientists record mysterious radio signals from deep space

FRB Origin

Researchers apart of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) announced this week that they recorded the second-ever series of fast radio bursts (FRB) from space.

Having two sets of repeating bursts could also allow scientists to understand what distinguishes them from single bursts, helping them understand more about their source and watch for future blasts.

These Fast Radio Bursts were detected during a period of just three weeks in the summer of 2018 using the CHIME radio telescope. Professor Avid Loeb from the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the USA, said the bursts could be evidence of advanced alien technology.

The signal was detected by CHIME radio telescope in Canada, which managed to confirm six of the repeating bursts coming from the same location. While these fast radio bursts (FRBs) are likely the result of black holes or strongly magnetized neutron stars, some say they could be evidence of far-flung alien life.

CHIME team member Prof Stairs said: "Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB".

Another interesting twist has to do with the radio frequencies of the newly detected bursts.

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"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB (fast radio burst)". They come from collapsing stars, magnetic fields, or voracious black holes.

Including the repeater, CHIME picked up a total of 13 new FRBs over the course of two months. Moreover, the CHIME scientists, in this study suggest that FRBs are more common than our current technology is able to reflect.

Even though FRBs were detected in 2007, it was only in 2015 that the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico detected such repeating radio waves. These are the lowest frequency bursts recorded so far. The $16-million investment for CHIME was provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the governments of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, with additional funding from the Dunlap Institute, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

"The fact that the bursts are repeated rules out any cataclysmic models in which the source is destroyed while generating the burst", he added.

At distances of billions of light years it's obviously very hard to test any of these theories, but detecting more FRBs, especially those that have a habit of repeating, could bring us closer to an explanation. Other bursts could be emitted at lower frequencies, but if this were the case, our current telescopes would not be able to detect them (400 megahertz is the limit).

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence", said Loeb in a statement after the publication of a previous paper in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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