Scientists discover radio signal relaying to Earth in steady 16-day cycles

Scientists have discovered the first ever fast radio bursts that beat at a steady rhythm, in addition to a mysterious repeating signal coming from another galaxy.

An aircraft approaches the International Space Station (photo credit: NASA)
An aircraft approaches the International Space Station
(photo credit: NASA)
Scientists have discovered the first ever fast radio bursts that beat at a steady rhythm, in addition to a mysterious repeating signal coming from another galaxy, according to a report released by Vice News.
The source of the radio burst is located in a galaxy approximately 500 million light years from Earth, pulsing on a consistent 16-day cycle. According to a new study, this might be the first time that scientists have detected periodicity in fast radio busts (FRBs), and may serve as an important contributing factor for discovering its source.
FRBs have continued to puzzle astrophysicists in recent years. First noted by scientists in 2007, FRBs are made via energetic sources, but researchers are still uncertain as to the composition of these sources. In some cases, FRBs can be either one-offs or on a repetitive beat, indicating that some bursts appear only once, while other occur in multiple flashes.  
Repeating pulses have been seen by scientists as random in their timing throughout years of observation. The recent discovery was found by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project  (CHIME/FRB), which is devoted to the study of FRBs, discovered a repeating FRB called FRB 180916.J0158+65.
The CHIME/FRB group focused on monitoring repeating bursts between September 2018 and October 2019 via a radio telescope in British Columbia. During the selected period, bursts repeated in periods of four days, and then disappeared for 12 days, representing a clear cycle of 16 days.
“We conclude that this is the first detected periodicity of any kind in an FRB source. The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object,”  noted the CHIME/FRB group in a research paper published on the preprint server arXiv in late January.
The recently discovered FRB is the closest  ever detected, sitting at around a half a billion light years from Earth.


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