The signals - known as fast radio bursts (FRBs) - have been speculated to be coming from neutron stars merging or even aliens. However, six repeat bursts could also be heard in a galaxy 1.5 billion light years away from the same location.
The results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), a interferometric radio telescope located in British Colombia, were unveiled at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington on Monday.
"We built this instrument specifically to try and detect these fast radio bursts, and we were still in our pre-commissioning phase, running with only partial sensitivity and taking the system up and down every day or so, and yet we still detected these 13 bursts, pretty much when we turned the instrument on". The discovery of a repeater was a huge deal because it meant that the source of this particular FRB, and possibly others, wasn't the result of a cataclysmic explosion, but rather something that persists through time.
The first one, deemed FRB 121102, was discovered in 2015 by the Arecibo radio telescope, and it was revealed in 2018 that the bursts release an enormous amount of energy. Importantly, the known population of repeating FRBs is now more than one, so we know that FRB 1211012 wasn't some kind of anomaly.
Astronomers are more than a little excited with the second ever detection of a repeating fast radio burst in deep space. These ultrastrong, ultrabright radio signals last only a few milliseconds and are thought to originate from billions of light-years away, though their precise source is unknown.More news: 3 dead, multiple injuries following bus crash in Ottawa
Before CHIME, the majority of FRBs detected had been found at frequencies close to 1,400 megahertz.
Of the 13 new blasts that were picked up, at least seven of them were recorded at 400 MHz - the lowest frequency of any yet discovered.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada said they've discovered the second so-called "repeating fast radio burst" (FRB) ever recorded, according to a news release published January 9.
The "scattering" phenomenon was detected in the radio bursts, which can help answer questions about the atmosphere surrounding the origin.
The CHIME team believes this scattering is indicative of powerful astrophysical objects at the source of the bursts.More news: GoFundMe will refund donations for Trump's border wall
The scientists note that the repeaters were observed at a lower frequency compared to other recorded FRBs. Before they were spotted over the summer, astronomers reportedly found between 50 and 60 examples of the radio bursts. While interesting, these new observations, he said, can not tell us about the nature of these sources-at least not yet.
Work on the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), which Tendulkar and his colleagues used for their research, was not quite complete when this initial baker's dozen was detected last July and August. The telescope scans the northern sky daily. 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 for Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The telescope incorporates four 100-metre long U-shaped cylinders of metal mesh that resemble snowboard half-pipes, with a total area equivalent to five hockey rinks, the team said. CHIME is an official Square Kilometre Array (SKA) pathfinder facility.
Fast Radio Bursts were discovered about a decade ago and have remained enigmatic since.More news: You Can Now Buy a 27-Pound Bucket of Mac and Cheese