Astronomers have detected mysterious repeating radio bursts coming from another galaxy — only the second such signal ever found

Business Insider | 1/11/2019 | ScienceAlert
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The CHIME radio telescope in British Columbia, Canada detected bursts of signals from FRB 121102, a fast radio burst that first appeared in 2012.

It's the second time that signals of this magnitude from a FRB have been recorded, since they're usually very sporadic and last only milliseconds.

Studies - Astronomers - FRB - Neutron - Star

Further studies lead astronomers to believe that this FRB came from a neutron star that's close to a black hole or large nebula.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of our Universe's most confounding mysteries - but astronomers may have just figured out the incredible environment where one of the most famous and well-studied FRBs is coming from.

Repeating - Radio - Signals - FRB - Area

The repeating radio signals from FRB 121102 are likely produced somewhere extreme, like the area around a massive black hole.

FRB 121102 made its first appearance in November 2012, but it took researchers a few years before pinning down its unusual nature. Most fast radio bursts only occur once, which makes them untraceable - but FRB 121102 would go on to repeat.

Opportunity - Fast - Radio - Bursts - Radio

This afforded a unique opportunity. Fast radio bursts are extremely powerful radio signals, generating as much energy as 500 million suns, but they're also extremely short, lasting just milliseconds.

Because most of them burst once and never return, they are impossible to predict, and impossible to trace. This is one of the main reasons why we don't know what causes them.

FRB - March - Researchers - Bursts - Location

But FRB 121102 has proved to be exceptional. In March 2016, researchers announced they'd found 10 other bursts from the same location in archival data. Then in December 2016, 6 bursts were detected from FRB 121102; then 15 more in August 2017.

This allowed researchers to locate the source of these signals - a star-forming region in a dwarf galaxy more than 3 billion light-years from Earth.

Team - Researchers

And now an international team of researchers has narrowed it down further still, by...
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