Since 2007, astronomers have worked hard to be aware of inexplicable radio signals captured from space. The signals, captured as flashes of light, have different rhythms, and the last note has the same heartbeat rhythm.
The signals likely come from a galaxy about a billion light-years away, but it’s impossible to say exactly where and where they came from, a group of researchers wrote in a study published in the journal. temper nature.
Clear pattern blinks
The signals are called fast radio bursts (FRB), and they are very intense, short-lived radio waves of unknown origin. The first was discovered in 2007, and since then astronomers have picked up hundreds of cosmic flashes of light from different regions.
Most FRBs are strong flashes of light that last for milliseconds before disappearing completely, while about 10 percent of them flash in clear patterns. Due to the speed of the light flashes, it is very difficult to detect them.
One tool that I was nevertheless able to capture and document is the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) in Canada.
The telescope has been in use since 2018 and its main mission is to search for radio signals. In 2019, CHIME picked up something that caught the researchers’ attention.
It picked up fast radio signals that behaved very differently from previous observations, says researcher Danielle Micheli of the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. CNN.
– We’re talking about “Boom Boom Boom”
The signal, named FRB 20191221A, lasted for three seconds, which is about 1,000 times longer than other radio signals. Michilli happened to be at work when the signal was detected.
– It was very unusual. In addition to the fact that it lasted for a very long time, CHIME recorded rhythmic jumps that were very accurate. We’re talking about “boom booms,” just like a heartbeat, and we’ve never really recorded that before, says Mitchell.
Scientists don’t know exactly where the signals come from, but astronomers are developing technology that can point to specific galaxies.
Additional analysis of FRB 20191221A shows that the signals are relatively similar to the energy emitted when neutron stars die, called magnets, but that radio flashes are about a million stronger than a magnetar.
One would think this was a magnet for steroids, says Michilli.
Researchers continue to search for FSBs in the night sky, as well as other unexplained phenomena.
Video: Researchers talk about observations:
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