Indian Scientist Tracks Down 15 Repeating FRBs Coming From Distant Dwarf Galaxy

Distant galaxy sends out 15 high-energy radio bursts

Distant galaxy sends out 15 high-energy radio bursts

"As well as confirming that the source is in a newly active state, the high resolution of the data obtained by the Listen instrument will allow measurement of the properties of these mysterious bursts at a higher precision than ever possible before", says Gajjar.

Breakthrough Listen is a global astronomical initiative launched in 2015 by Internet investor and philanthropist Yuri Milner and cosmologist Stephen Hawking in search for evidence of technological life in the Universe. However, some have dared to venture that the bursts from FRB 121102 could conceivably originate from huge transmitters powering an interstellar spacecraft. This repeating FRB source is located in a dwarf galaxy in Auriga constellation, around 3-billion-light-years from Earth.

Regardless of FRB 121102's ultimate source, when the recently detected pulses left their host galaxy, our solar system was less than 2 billion years old, noted Steve Croft, a Breakthrough Listen astronomer at UC Berkeley.

At the time, it was the first FRB to be discovered; and by 2015, it became the first FRB to be seen repeating. It's called a fast radio burst. or FRB. To make things stranger still, the 15 new bursts detected by the Breakthrough Listen initiative were at frequencies of around 7 GHz, which is higher than any previous FRB we've picked up. Normally, FRBs fire off once and aren't heard from again, but one outlier has been particularly chatty over the years.

The bursts are very strong pulses of radio waves that appear in the sky for just a few milliseconds before disappearing. 400 Terabytes of data over the 4 to 8 Hz frequency band was collected which is mostly used for satellite communications transmissions.

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This was the first time when the higher frequency FRBs, also dubbed as the "repeater", were received by scientists. "Previously, we thought there wasn't much emission at high or low frequencies, but now it looks like there is", Harvard University theoretical physicist Avi Loeb told New Scientist. "It should be noted that they can still be valid for other FRBs".

Scholz said that there could be reasons such as the signal being distorted between its source galaxy and Earth. For example, 1977's "Wow!" signal was a one-time radio burst lasting several minutes that bore the profile of a potential signal from extraterrestrials (hence its designation, coming from an excited researcher's notes). At that time, earth was home to only single-celled organisms.

Astronomers have detected repeated radio signals from a mysterious source in a dwarf galaxy 3 billion light-years away.

Using the Green Bank Radio Telescope in West Virginia, the Listen science team at UC Berkeley has been observing distant stars for over a year now.

"Whether or not fast radio bursts turn out to be signatures of extraterrestrial technology, Breakthrough Listen is helping to push the frontiers of a new and rapidly growing area of our understanding of the universe around us", Siemion said.

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