Chinese telescope picks up mysterious signal from deep space

Pablo Tucker
September 10, 2019

China's largest radio telescope has been picking up mysterious signals from outer space.

Now, according to the Chinese Xinhua news agency, the fast radio bursts detected by the Chinese astronomers might shed more light on the mechanisms of mysterious signals and their origins.

Fast Radio Burts. image credit JINGCHUAN YU BEIJING PLANETARIUM  NRAO
Fast Radio Burts. image credit JINGCHUAN YU BEIJING PLANETARIUM NRAO

It is of uncommon knowledge that China has built the world's biggest and most sensitive radio telescope and the Chinese government has been having trouble filling in the position, given how remote the telescope is since its installation was completed in 2017.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, in short, are some mysterious signals that usually come from the distant Universe, from millions and even billions of light-years away from Earth. The freakish and powerful flashes of radio waves that shoot from the cosmos are thought to originate billions of light years from Earth, lasting only for a few milliseconds in duration. The first one was spotted in 2007, and we're finding more of them all the time.


Whatever their actual source is, 'The newest detections allowed researchers to discover that the radio bursts themselves are polarized and coming from an environment that contains an incredibly strong magnetic field, ' reports CNN. The scientists used that receiver to record fast radio bursts coming from the FRB121102, an FRBs source identified in 2015 by the Arecibo Observatory.

Chinese researchers say they will continue to monitor burst from FRB121102 to gather as much information on the source of these pulses as possible.


Currently, over 10 countries and regions are lined up to experience the power of this impressive astronomical tool which far exceeds its predecessors' potential.

Scientists believe more discoveries will be made with FAST. Their intentions vary from researching exoplanets and interstellar matter to studying ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and gravitational rays, just to name a few.


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