“Hello?” Astronomers discover 25 mysterious repeating radio signals from deep space

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According to Universe Today, a group of astronomers has found 25 fast radio bursts (FRBs), which are enigmatic and very powerful radio wave pulses that recur in intricate patterns.

In data collected between 2019 and 2021 by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) radio observatory in British Columbia, Canada, scientists were able to spot the recurring FRBs.

Astronomers have been attempting to understand the origin of the puzzling phenomena since the first FRB was discovered back in 2007. We still don’t know why they happen, but some speculate that pulsars, which are extremely magnetically charged neutron stars, could be the cause.

The fresh information will probably only temporarily deepen the enigma. However, it could also advance our search for a solution.

Ziggy Pleunis, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto, and his colleagues used an algorithm to search a previously constructed sample catalog of FRBs, which includes more than 500 identified events by CHIME , and found 25 additional recurring sources.

According to Universe Today, just 29 of the 1,000 FRBs discovered so far have been confirmed to be repeating, thus the new data may roughly treble the number of repeating FRBs that are now known.

Only around 2.6 percent of the rapid radio bursts that we detect recur, according to a rigorous tally of all of our bursts and the repeating sources, Pleunis told the outlet. “For many of the new sources we have detected only a few bursts, which makes the sources quite inactive. Almost as inactive as the sources that we have only seen once.”

Although many sources are not highly active, it is probable that all rapid radio burst sources may ultimately reoccur, he said.

Many of these recurring patterns continue to be incredibly difficult to categorize, which makes them even more elusive.

We could eventually learn the answers, however, as scientists amass a constantly growing record of these bursts and some very big radio telescopes, like the Australian Square Kilometer Array Observatory, are being constructed.

Reference(s): UniverseToday

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