Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Radio telescope near Penticton, B.C., opening new doors in astrophysics

Radio telescope near Penticton, B.C., opening new doors in astrophysics

Described as one of the most mysterious phenomena in the universe, a group of scientists this week reported picking up a deep, energetic radio signal coming from somewhere in outer space.

This means that whatever produced the signal, which has been named "FRB 180725A", is likely to be extremely powerful.

While they are radio signals, FRBs don't hold any information that astronomers or researchers have been able to tap. The signal lasted for only fractions of a second, but he was recognized by radio waves with the lowest frequency ever recorded by scientists.

One FRB in particular, FRB 121102, has been heard multiple times over the course of several years.

A new telescope called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) picked up the emission, which also has the lowest frequency of any burst recorded by our species.

The post reads: "During its ongoing commissioning, CHIME/FRM detected FRB 180725A on 2018 July 25 at 17:59:43.115 UTC (18:59:43.15 BST/13:59:43.15 ET)".

This FRB is called 180725A, and what makes it so special is its low frequency - 580 Mhz, considering that scientists haven't detected any FBR under 700 Mhz until now.

This unprecedented discovery was presented yesterday in the journal Astronomer's Telegram by Patrick Boyle of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who elaborated on the characteristics of the other radio signals. In a diagram measuring the radio frequency over time, there is a clear bright streak beginning below 600 MHz.

Scientists can not yet identify the process which produces the short and sharp radio wave bursts, which means we can not rule out the possibility they were made by aliens.

Apparently, it is said that all these signals come from the Milky Way but few of them are dated back to billions of years ago. No one knows where they originate from or what they are exactly.

FRB are very rare, because experts are still trying to explain their origin, not excluding the possibility of explosion of a black hole or echo developed extraterrestrial civilizations. FRBs may even reach our planet thousands of times a day, Conselice said; we just haven't built enough tools to detect them all yet. Other possible origins include supernovas (exploding stars), supermassive black holes or various other sources of mighty electromagnetic radiation, such as pulsars.

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