ASTRONOMERS HAVE discovered a mysterious repeating radio signal coming back from a distant galaxy, and it is not clear what’s causing it.
The signal, known as a Fast Radio Burst, was discovered along side twelve non-repeating signals. this is only the second time scientists have observed a radio signal that repeats itself.published in a paper on Wednesday in the journal Nature, astronomers at the Canadian hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment wrote that thirteen fast radio bursts were observed in July and August 2018 and that one of them was repeating.
The repeating Fast radio burst came from the same source as the other twelve. although the origin is unknown, the signals originated 1.5 billion light years away. according to the paper, there were 6 repeat bursts from this Fast radio burst “from a single position on the sky,” but the others only occurred once.
The repetitive nature of this signal makes it more probably that researchers will be able to pin down its location.
According to CBS News, astronomers have observed these kinds of signals using telescopes since 2002, but they have little info about their sources. They last only a fraction of a second and travel billions of light-years through space.
The first repeating Fast radio burst was observed by a different telescope and only repeated itself once. additionally, the 2 repeating signals are distinct from one another and the newly-observed one was more than twice as close to Earth than the first.
Shriharsh Tendulkar, a scientist at CHIME, told CNET that the new signal is in “a completely different part of the sky.” Another member of CHIME, Ingrid Stairs, told CNET that “with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles — where they are from and what causes them.”
BBC reports that there are a number of theories as to what’s causing the signals: a neutron star with a strong field that’s spinning rapidly, 2 neutron stars merging together, or some form of alien spaceship, though only a minority of observers support that theory.