STRONG signals are beaming toward Earth from deep space at unprecedented speeds.
According to scientists, a recurring fast radio burst source discovered last year has been recorded sending more than 1,800 bursts our way over the course of two months.
The hyperactive nature of the burst allowed researchers to pinpoint its host galaxy and source.
named FRB 20201124A, the object was discovered by the Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in China.
This was described in an article led by Heng Xu, an astronomer at Peking University in China.
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are a mysterious cosmic phenomenon.
High-intensity emissions typically last for only a fraction of a second, and their origin was unknown until recently.
Since it was first discovered in 2007, several thousand have been caught by scientists.
All FRBs are unusual, but the newly discovered one was particularly strange.
According to a paper published in Nature, over 82 hours of observations spread over two months, FAST detected 1,863 explosions.
Its polarization and signal strength fluctuated wildly, making it the first FRB to show such variations in its waves, said study author Fayin Wang of Nanjing University. Reverse.
The evidence so far points to its source being a magnetic, neutron star with a strong magnetic field.
However, the change in its polarization over time suggested that another object might be contributing to the signals.
“These observations took us back to the drawing board,” said Bing Zhang, an astrophysicist at the University of Nevada.
“It is clear that FRBs are more mysterious than we imagined. More long-wavelength observing campaigns are needed to further reveal the nature of these objects.”
Almost all FRBs detected so far have come from too far away to clearly identify where they came from.
Only a few have recurred, and even fewer are still in a predictable pattern.
This makes them extremely difficult to study, meaning their origins have eluded scientists for over a decade.
The signals are thought to come from huge explosions in deep space that go off in less than a second.
In 2020, researchers said they had determined that the radio flares were coming an object known as a magnet.
Magnetars are a type of neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field – only a few of which are thought to exist in the Milky Way.
Physicists had previously hypothesized that magnetars could produce FRBs, but there was no evidence to prove that this was the case.
This means that the signals are not coming from extraterrestrial civilizations, a theory advanced by some UFO hunters but rejected by scientists.
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