Canada's shiny new radio telescope is up and running, and it just heard something very, very odd coming from deep space. Before it, there has never been an FRB picked up below 700 MHz. No FRB has ever been detected below a frequency of 700 Mhz before. On July 25, CHIME recorded a weird signal codenamed FRB 180725A at 17:59:43 UTC emitted at 580 MHz - a lower frequency than most FRBs.
CHIME detected the FRB 180725A, followed by radio signals at much lower frequencies at 400 kHz, which are confirmed not to have originated anywhere on Earth but owe their origin somewhere in the celestial universe.
The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, a powerful radio telescope, has detected the first low-frequency fast radio burst, a class of rare extragalactic emissions of an unknown origin.
The £12-million ($15.6 million) installation, set up in British Columbia, only began operations last year and is equipped with four 100-meter-long (328 feet) U-shaped cylinders, capable of recording ancient radio signals sent out when the universe was no more than six billion years old. The signal has now been branded by the name "FRB 180725A". "These events have occurred during both the day and night and their arrival times are not correlated with known on-site activities or other known sources of terrestrial RFI [radio-frequency interference]".
The question that remains is uncovering where these signals have come from, with many possible theories being thrown into the mix.
Image credit CHIME FRB Collaboration
A new bulletin from The Astronomer's Telegram reveals that the new telescope detected what is known as a Fast Radio Burst, or FRB.
University of Nottingham astrophysics professor Christopher Conselice said the discovery could help pave the way for a greater understanding of what causes FRBs.
While they are radio signals, FRBs don't hold any information that astronomers or researchers have been able to tap.
Just a decade ago, first such FRBs were tracked and the CHIME was exclusively set up to catch such signals from the deep space from sources such as bursts from magnetars, exploding black holes, and of course, highly advanced alien civilizations if there are any.
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