Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are very energetic, fleeting radio signals (they only last a few milliseconds), which are supposed to come from deep space. At least seven of these bursts were recorded at 400 megahertz (the lowest frequency recorded so far), which the authors suggest indicates that bursts could be observed at even lower frequencies than CHIME can detect.
Far outside our Milky Way galaxy, something is causing repeating short bursts of radio waves to be released into space.
"They're a new mysterious thing, just recently discovered", Mark Halpern, a physics and astronomy professor at the University of British Columbia, told CTV Vancouver.
In October researchers used a radio telescope in Australia to almost double the number of known fast radio bursts.
Astrophysicist Ingrid Stairs of the University of British Columbia said, "Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB". And when there are increased sources and more repeaters for the objective of conducting a study, the cosmic puzzles would become easier for them to have better understanding and it would then be clear that what the actual source of those blasts was.
'Or near the central black hole in a galaxy. "But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see". Scientists believe FRBs emanate from powerful astrophysical phenomena billions of light years away, but they have yet to determine their origin. Seeing two repeating signals probably means that there exists - and that humanity will probably find - a "substantial population" of repeating signals, the researchers write in one of the two papers published in Nature. Additionally, "this second source shows burst behavior (i.e. multiple structures in the burst) that is extremely similar to the first repeating FRB and which is different from all the single FRBs", Tendulkar said.
Added Landecker: "We haven't solved the problem, but it's several more pieces in the puzzle".
That high rate of discovery suggests that FBRs, let alone repeating FBRs, may not be as unique as we think, said Perimeter Institute faculty member Kendrick Smith.
This means that, since 400 megahertz is the lower limit of the telescope's capability, the signals may be occurring at lower frequencies still. CHIME measures scattering more precisely than other instruments because it operates at lower frequencies.