Fast Radio Bursts: Now in bulk and mysterious as ever

A Canadian PhD student his colleagues from across the world have made a discovery that has surprised scientists and compelling them to rethink their understanding of Fast Radio Bursts. According to CBC, the team has found repeated occurrences of Fast Radio Bursts or FRB for the first time. Which basically means they have heard mysterious sounds emanating from the universe.

Fast Radio Bursts: Now in bulk and mysterious as ever

The mysterious universe. Reuters

An FRB is a transient radio pulse that flashes for only a few milliseconds at a time and occurs outside the Milky Way. While the origins are unknown, these flashes are thought to occur in isolation as scientists so far have never observed ‘additional bursts at the same dispersion measure’, according to the team’s research paper published in Nature journal. However, when the PhD student Paul Scholz was analyzing data on the supercomputer at McGill University in Montreal, he found an FRB of the same characteristics as one discovered in 2012 by Laura Spitler, reports CBC. Scholz’s academic supervisor Victoria Kaspi and her colleague Jason Hessels confirmed Scholz finding and the team then began analyzing more data. Their observation? They found another nine similar FRBs in a period of three months.

Spitler, lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, explained to Science Daily that the uniqueness of this discovery lies not only in the fact that these FRBs were repetitive, but also in the fact that “their brightness and spectra also differ from those of other FRBs”.

The team hopes that with further research they will be to identify the galaxy where the radio bursts originated, reported Science Daily.

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Updated Date: Mar 03, 2016 23:13:58 IST