Another Repeating Fast Radio Burst (FRB), Recorded by Canadian Astronomers

Fast Radio Bursts are the most baffling deep space emissions astronomers have detected so far. Astrophysicists know little about fast radio bursts and have no clue what space object can generate such powerful emissions. Now, another repeating fast radio burst has been recorded by Canadian astronomers. That would be the second one of its type to be registered by scientists.

As I’ve mentioned above, the most puzzling fact about fast radio bursts (FRBs) is the peculiarity of their origin. The scientists have no clue on what is causing these odd emissions of radio waves. Also, until now, astrophysicists have only detected 60 FRBs that were coming from deep space. Even more baffling, only two of them, the newly identified one included, represent a particular category – “repeating fast radio burst.”

In a report released by McGill University on January 9th, 2019, scientists announced that Canadian astronomers working with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) radio telescope in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, detected 13 fast radio bursts.

Another Repeating Fast Radio Burst (FRB), Recorded by Canadian Astronomers

“Until now, there was only one known repeating fast radio burst. Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there. And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they’re from and what causes them,” explained Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“Whatever the source of these radio waves is, it’s interesting to see how wide a range of frequencies it can produce. There are some models where intrinsically the source can’t produce anything below a certain frequency,” added Arun Naidu of McGill University, who also said that the recently recorded FRBs are unique among the other signals discovered by astronomers.

“We now know the sources can produce low-frequency radio waves and those low-frequency waves can escape their environment, and are not too scattered to be detected by the time they reach the Earth. That tells us something about the environments and the sources. We haven’t solved the problem, but it’s several more pieces in the puzzle,” said Tom Landecker from the CHIME.