A radio signal with a constant cycle of 16 days is detected at 500 million light years

A radio signal with a constant cycle of 16 days is detected at 500 million light years

A fast radio burst (FRB) is a high-energy astrophysical phenomenon of unknown origin that manifests itself as a fleeting radio pulse lasting on average a few milliseconds. Duncan Lorimer and his student David Narkevic discovered the first fast radio burst in 2007.

They appear randomly over a very short period of time, making them difficult to find and very difficult to study. But now one has been detected that repeats itself every 16 days, constantly .

FRB with repeating pattern

To date, more than 100 FRBs have been detected, but only about ten have been repeated. Now a team of space scientists working in Canada has detected one with a repeating pattern 500 million light-years away. In other words, we are looking at the first example of this kind of FRB.

The researchers were studying data from the radio telescope used by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment when they detected the FRB. FRB signals were observed to arrive about once an hour for four days and then suddenly cease, only to start again 16 days later . As they say :

The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to finding out the nature of this object.

The repeating pattern suggests that the source could be a celestial body of some kind orbiting a star or other body. Another possibility is that stellar winds could alternately increase or block signals from a body behind them.

At the moment, we do not have enough technology to find out which of the objects in the galaxy is sending the FRBs and, above all, how it is doing it.