After a year of research using the CHIME telescope in Canada, it was found that more than 500 new fast-radio bursts (FRBs), mysterious signals coming from deep space were received.
The scientists learned that there are some key differences between different FRBs. Some of them were one-off bursts, while some repeated rapidly, according to CNN.
FRBs are not rare
This made them understand that different categories come from fundamentally different sources of cosmic phenomena, as per the research presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting. Now, the team will figure out the sources.
Using just one year’s observations, the number of known FRBs has expanded. This will provide enough data for researchers to work and find out what’s the reason behind these FRBs. The research also shows that the cosmic phenomenon that was once believed to rare, appears to be common in the grand canvas.
“That’s kind of the beautiful thing about this field — FRBs are really hard to see, but they’re not uncommon,” said Kiyoshi Masui, MIT physicist and CHIME member. “If your eyes could see radio flashes the way you can see camera flashes, you would see them all the time if you just looked up.”
Signal for aliens?
Scientists now aim to understand which natural phenomena emit a signal, though Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb previously suggested these radio signals could be coming from extraterrestrials that have advanced technology.
“Before CHIME, there were less than 100 total discovered FRBs. Now, after one year of observation, we’ve discovered hundreds more,” MIT researcher and CHIME team member Kaitlyn Shin said. “With all these sources, we can really start getting a picture of what FRBs look like as a whole, what astrophysics might be driving these events, and how they can be used to study the universe going forward.”
Recently, NASA also snapped an image of the oldest spiral galaxy, with the aid of its popular Hubble Space Telescope. The space telescope tracked 5 fast radio bursts (FRBs) to the spiral arms of 5 distant galaxies. The galaxy is believed to be around 12 billion years old and is one of the oldest ever observed.