New Light Bursts from Deep Space have been Recorded

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We are still far away from understanding all the mysteries of the universe. One of them may be soon elucidated with the help of artificial intelligence. Scientists from the University of California created an AI that can analyze fast radio burst (or FRB) at great speeds. The radio bursts are so intense that they can outshine millions of stars but we still don’t know what causes them.  The AI was capable of detecting more than three times as many FRB in comparison to previous scans.

Some researchers theorize that FRBs may be influenced by supernovas and pulsars but they may also be connected o extraterrestrial intelligence, a reason for SETI to be interested in the phenomenon.

Analyzed data came from the Green Bank Telescope located in West Virginia. The telescope scanned an object called FRB 121102 in August 2017. The object, found in a dwarf galaxy which is approximately 3 billion, has raised heated debates among astronomers because it is the only known source of repeating fast radio bursts.  All the FRBs that were detected before were a one-time phenomenon. It was thought that 21 FRB happened in 2018 but those may be just a small part of what is really out there.

A smart neuronal network was trained in order track down fast radio burst that appears in the data collected by telescopes. The project was named ‘’Breakthrough Listen’’. The protocol used by the AI is similar to the one used in photo tagging. It can now accurately process fresh data.

Breakthrough listen has surveyed over 400 terabytes of data received from the Green Bank Telescope, by which 21 FRBs have been already identified and it managed to spot another 72, bringing the grand total to 93 bursts in a single day.

The data will allow astronomers to create an accurate model that may explain the signals.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.