A odd, sudden burst of radio waves has been picked up by Canada's new, state-of-the-art radio telescope - and it is throwing scientists for a loop.
The signal, known as Fast Radio Burst (FRB), lasted only a matter of milliseconds.
But experts say it is the lowest radio emission received from beyond our Milky Way - and its source is therefore likely to be extremely powerful. No FRB has ever been detected below a frequency of 700 Mhz before, according to the telegram. Though it has been in operation for only about a year, it has already detected several noteworthy FRBs, including several more low-frequency signals that followed shortly after the noteworthy FRB 180725A last week.
The latest FRB, which was detected by researchers at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment in British Columbia, was allegedly the first to be heard between the much deeper frequency range of 400 to 800 MHz, rendering it a much lower signal than numerous FRB episodes before it.
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The reason this FRB, named FRB 180725A, was so special?
A quick burst, was now - it was called FRB 180725A especially unique, as was discovered on a fairly low purity of 580 MHz.
The latest mystery signal was detected by CHIME, a state-of-the-art radio telescope that looks like a skateboarder's half-pipe in the mountains of British Columbia.
"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)". Most of the time, radio telescopes like this don't hear anything out of the ordinary, but every so often an unexplained signal finds its way through the noise, and that's exactly what happened on July 25th.
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Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a long time before we know for sure if these sounds come from black holes colliding, exploding stars or aliens lurking in space.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, astrophysics professor Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom discusses the possible sources of FRBs, noting that the recently-discovered low-frequency signals might shed new light into what causes this intriguing phenomenon.
'It could even be some other physical mechanism that we don't yet understand'.
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