Second fast radio burst detected in space

Scientists have discovered the second repeating fast radio burst released into space far outside the Milky Way galaxy, according to a study.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are intense pulses of radio waves lasting just milliseconds that can give off more energy in a fraction of a second than the sun does in hours, days or weeks.

Discovered first in 2007, the researchers estimate that there are 10,000 fast radio bursts happening per day, or radio flash every 10 seconds, in each area of the sky.

The study was published on Wednesday in the journal Nature and the finding was also presented at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, reports CNN.

The first radio burst, deemed FRB 121102, was discovered in 2015 by the Arecibo radio telescope, and it was revealed in 2018 that the bursts release an enormous amount of energy.

The new repeating fast radio burst is called FRB 180814.J0422+73 and was recorded six times coming from the same location, 1.5 billion light-years away.

This is one of the very first detections made by the new Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment or CHIME.

The flashes of radio waves come from all over the sky and last for just milliseconds and while their exact causes are not yet known they are thought to come from the other side of the universe and involve incredible energy, equivalent to the amount released by the sun in 80 years.

“Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there,” said Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia.

“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.”

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