18:59 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Astronomers Detect Mysterious Radio Signals From Deep Space

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    A telescope in Canada picked up mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy.

    The nature and origin of 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, is still unknown, however astronomers suspect that the signals all came from the same source 1.5 billion light years away, the BBC reported, citing research published in the journal Nature.

    Such an event has only been reported once before by a different telescope.

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    "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," said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

    This particular set of signals was registered by the CHIME observatory, located in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, which consists of four 100-metre-long, semi-cylindrical antennas that are able to scan the entire northern sky each day.

    The telescope has been in use for only a year, detecting 13 of the radio bursts almost immediately, including the repeater.

    “We have discovered a second repeater and its properties are very similar to the first repeater. This tells us more about the properties of repeaters as a population,” said Shriharsh Tendulkar of McGill University, Canada.

    NASA artist rendering shows the mapping of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft
    © AP Photo / NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
    FRBs are short, bright flashes of radio waves, which appear to be coming from almost halfway across the universe. Scientists have detected 60 single fast radio bursts and two that repeat so far, yet they believe there could be as many as a thousand FRBs passing in the sky every day. The cause of the signals remains unknown, yet theories include a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field that is spinning very rapidly, two neutron stars merging together, and even some form of an alien spaceship.


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