Eight mysterious repeating radio signals detected from outside our galaxy

Rob Waugh
Canada's CHIME telescope (CHIME)
Canada's CHIME telescope (CHIME)

Astronomers could be close to unraveling one of the greatest mysteries of space after a Canadian telescope detected eight new repeating radio signals known as ‘fast radio bursts’.

These are bright pulses of radio emission mere milliseconds in duration, thought to originate from distant galaxies.

The source of these emissions is still unclear - but scientists have been particularly fascinated by ‘repeaters’, where the pulse repeats, ever since the first fast radio burst was found in 2007.

Theories range from highly magnetised neutron stars blasted by gas streams from a nearby super-massive black hole, to signatures of technology developed by an advanced civilizations.

Now telescopes have detected many more ‘repeaters’, and scientists hope to trace the origins of the mysterious blasts.

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Results from the Canadian CHIME telescope were published on the arXiv preprint server, with eight repeaters discovered.

An Australian telescope, the Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder also found one, the prestigious science journal Nature reported.

CHIME researcher Bryan Gaensler said, ‘In 25 years of astronomy research, this is unquestionably the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on,’

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