'There could be more out there': Mysterious radio bursts coming from space

Scientists discover mysterious radio signals from distant galaxy. What are they?

Scientists discover mysterious radio signals from distant galaxy. What are they?

That suggests there might be even more of them, too low to be picked up by telescopes. The scientists also discovered repeat bursts from one of the 13 sources, a discovery only made once before.

Studying FRBs is hard because they are so rare.

Seeing two repeating signals probably means there exists a "substantial population" of repeating signals, the researchers write in one of the two papers published in Nature.

A group of scientists from the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research participated in research which was found to discover new fast radio bursts.

However, the source of these signals, originating from far outside our Milky Way galaxy, is not well understood. And when there are increased sources and more repeaters for the goal 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.

The telescope, which resembles a set of skateboarding half-pipes, was built as part of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) to record radio signals from outer space. Some of the proposed candidates for FRB sources are magnetars (neutron stars with strong magnetic fields), merging neutron stars, and (among the fringe) undiscovered alien civilizations.

From our limited understanding, we know that FRBs are extremely short and high-powered bursts of radio energy that were first observed in 2007. CHIME can only record signals between 400 MHz and 800 MHz. Some have suggested that it may be remnants of distant supernovae (exploding stars) or radiation emitted by supermassive black holes feeding on them.

The majority of the 13 FRBs detected showed signs of 'scattering, ' a phenomenon that reveals information about the environment surrounding a source of radio waves.

As for the new repeater, it's called FRB 180814.J0422+73. Since a little more than ten years, the researchers employed it - and until today it is not resolved, where do the flashes come. "The fact that we found a second one just like that in a way implies that there could be lots more out there".

Several dozen FRBs have been recorded over the last decade, but CHIME's observations mark just the second time a repeating signal has been documented.

"If we had 1,000 examples, we would be able to say many more things about what FRBs are like", Good added.

"FRBs, it seems, are likely generated in dense, turbulent regions of host galaxies", Shriharsh Tendulkar, a corresponding author for both studies and an astronomer at McGill University in Canada, told AFP news agency. Even though we've evolved our understanding of the cosmos over the past centuries, the reality is that we barely comprehend the many mysteries this vast expanse holds within it.