Low-frequency fast radio burst detected in cosmos

A recently discovered fast radio burst has a lower frequency than others ever found.
By Joseph Scalise | Aug 06, 2018
Astronomers have detected the lowest-frequency fast radio burst (FRB) on record, according to a new study published in The Astronomer's Telegram.

FRBs -- which researchers first found 10 years ago -- are mysterious radio signals that shoot throughout the cosmos. Researchers do know the beams travel billions of light-years to reach Earth but they have no idea where they come from.

That is why any sighting of the blips is an exciting event.

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence," Avi Loeb, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who was not involved in the study, according to Live Science.

In the recent incident, a high-powered telescope noted an FRB while combing the skies for signs of hydrogen. FRB 180725A is the lowest-frequency burst ever found, which could give new insight into the pulses.

Scientists currently postulate that the odd blips might come from neutron stars out in extreme space environments.

To shed light on that, they used a telescope known as the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) to analyze FRB 180725A. That revealed it measured around 580 MHz, which is significantly lower than the range of 1,000 and 1,500 MHz most FRB's register at.

Only 40 FRB's have been spotted in the last decade, and each one sheds new light on the events. As a result, using Chime, which may be able to discover new ones each day, could break the mystery wide open.

"CHIME isa really sensitive, large field of view telescope which means it's perfect for searching for FRBs," said Emily Petroff, an astrophysicist at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy who was not involved in the study, according toNewsweek.

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