A new study by an worldwide team of scientists led by astronomers at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB) in British Columbia has discovered that a mystery radio source in a galaxy some 500 million lightyears from our solar system is sending out fast radio bursts like clockwork in 16.35 day cycles, including 1-2 bursts per hour over a four day period and then 12 days of silence before starting up again.
Astronomers have found a deep space radio burst that pulses every 16 days
"The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object", they said.
Between September 16, 2018 and October 30, 2019, researchers withthe Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment/Fast Radio Burst Project collaboration detected a pattern in bursts occurring every 16.35 days.
Although the exact origin and cause is not certain, fast radio bursts are believed to be caused outside of the Milky Way and researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics say they can be used to study the structure and evolution of the universe.More news: 'Never happened': Model denies trapping Harvey Weinstein's rape accuser
If confirmed, the discovery would be another first in the early study of FRBs, which have only been known to science for a relatively short period of time. It repeats at regular intervals.
"Some of those cycles didn't produce FRBs, but those that did were right in-line with the 16-day period", Extreme Tech writes. In the published article, it was stated that the detected signal was the first FRB signal that reached the Earth periodically. It is being estimated that the galaxy is 500 million lightyears away. According to the study, FRB 180916.J0158+65 hails from the outskirts of a spiral galaxy, about 500 million light-years away.
The CHIME radio telescope which detected the repeat signals. It could also be a binary system containing a massive star and super-dense stellar core called a neutron star, where signals from the latter are eclipsed by the winds from its enormous companion.More news: Amazon, Nvidia, Sony Ditch MWC Over Coronavirus Fears
Another scenario is that the FRB signal is created by another object and sent directly from the source. Another possible source could be flares from highly magnetized neutron stars (magnetars).
FRB 180916.J0158+65 is one of the handful of FRBs that have been traced back to a galaxy.More news: Sex Education Gets Renewed For Season 3 at Netflix