ALL NEWS

Mysterious radio signal from space is repeating every 16 days

Feb 12, 2020, 5:51 AM
radio signal from space...
Mysterious radio signals from space have been known to repeat, but for the first time, researchers have noticed a pattern in a series of bursts coming from a single source half a billion light-years from Earth. Credit: Andre Recnik/Courtesy CHIME

(CNN) — Mysterious radio signal s from space have been known to repeat, but for the first time, researchers have noticed a pattern in a series of bursts coming from a single source half a billion light-years from Earth.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are millisecond-long bursts of radio waves in space. Individual radio bursts emit once and don’t repeat. But repeating fast radio bursts are known to send out short, energetic radio waves multiple times. And usually when they repeat, it’s sporadic or in a cluster, according to previous observations.

Between September 16, 2018 and October 30, 2019, researchers with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment/Fast Radio Burst Project collaboration detected a pattern in bursts occurring every 16.35 days. Over the course of four days, the signal would release a burst or two each hour. Then, it would go silent for another 12 days.

The findings are included in the pre-print of a paper on arXiv, meaning the paper has been moderated but not fully peer reviewed. The authors of the paper are part of the CHIME/FRB collaboration, which has published a multitude of fast radio burst studies in recent years.

The signal is a known repeating fast radio burst, FRB 180916.J0158+65. Last year, the CHIME/FRB collaboration detected the sources of eight new repeating fast radio bursts, including this signal. The repeating signal was traced to a massive spiral galaxy around 500 million light-years away.

Researchers hope that by tracing the origin of these mysterious bursts, they can determine what caused them. So far, they have traced single and repeating fast radio bursts back to very different sources, which deepens the mystery.

The first repeating fast radio burst traced, FRB 121102, linked back to a small dwarf galaxy containing stars and metals. FRB 180916 was traced to one of the spiral arms of a Milky Way-esque galaxy. It was also within a star-forming region of the arm, the researchers said.

Now, the evidence of a pattern in the signal adds to the question of what could cause these bursts to emit the way that they do.

“The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object,” the researchers wrote in their study.

In the paper, the researchers consider the possible causes, like the orbital motion of a star or an object that acts as a companion in the outskirts of the galaxy. The authors of another paper, who consulted with the researchers who discovered the pattern, suggest the cause could be coming from a neutron star and early OB-type star binary system.

Neutron stars are the smallest in the universe, the remnants of supernovae. Their diameters are comparable to the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta, but they are incredibly dense, with masses bigger than that of our sun. OB-type stars are short-lived hot, massive stars. The interaction between these two, and the wind coming off of the OB-type star, could factor into the cause of the repeating FRB’s pattern.

Understanding fast radio bursts can also help astronomers learn more about the universe itself. The more bursts they can trace, the better they may be able to use the signals to map how matter is distributed across the universe.

The researchers believe that future observations could help them determine if other repeating fast radio bursts have a pattern. That way, they’ll know if this kind of periodicity is the exception or routine behavior.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Intermountain milestone 1 million tests...
Mark Jones

Intermountain Healthcare announces plans to build hospital in Ephraim

Intermountain Healthcare has plans to develop 35 acres of land in the Ephraim area into a new hospital.
22 hours ago
On Monday, David Rice was named president and CEO of Associated Food Stores. Photo credit: Associat...
Mark Jones

Associated Food Stores name David Rice as its new CEO/President

On Monday, Associated Food Stores named David Rice as its new CEO and president.
22 hours ago
Salt Lake City Police responded to five different incidents involving weapons on Monday, Sept. 26, ...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City Police respond to five different incidents with weapons

Salt Lake City Police responded to five different incidents Monday involving a weapon.
22 hours ago
At 5800 So. 1400 W. you find an irrigation canal that attracts  a lot of waterfowl, seagulls and ev...
Mark Jones

Officials warn of additional cases of avian influenza

With the fall migration of wild waterfowl, state officials are warning bird owners to be prepared for additional cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or avian influenza.
22 hours ago
Strawberry Reservoir...
Devin Oldroyd

Fatal crash near Strawberry Reservoir closes SR-40

One person is dead and another injured following a car accident near Strawberry Reservoir. SR 40 is currently closed in both directions at milepost 40.
22 hours ago
Remaining permits for elk and deer hunts this fall will be available to purchase in July....
Britt Johnson

Division of Wildlife Resources warns of poaching as hunting season begins

The Utah Divison of Wildlife Resources is warning hunters of poaching as hunting season begins. They say many instances of poaching happen by accident.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Mysterious radio signal from space is repeating every 16 days