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Humanity is receiving increasingly strange signals from space: what scientists have to say

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
Scientists still do not understand the nature of the signals, which were first detected in 2007

In 2007, humanity discovered the first fast radio burst (FRB). Since then, scientists have been unsuccessfully trying to understand unusual bursts of radio waves emanating from extremely remote locations, and each new one adds more mystery to the story.

The last of these FRBs, as The Byte writes, has again shown that it will take a long time to unravel the nature of these signals. Some of them flare up surprisingly regularly. Others can emit extremely powerful flashes that last for a few milliseconds at a time.

The energy output of FRBs also varies greatly. Some of these signals can emit as much energy in just a fraction of a second as the Sun does in a few days. One of these signals, which has been pulsing every 20 minutes since at least 1988, particularly surprised the researchers.

But the new radio burst was even stranger.

In a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists said they detected the "never-before-seen" burst using the Allen Telescope Array of the SETI Institute. This radio telescope consists of 42 antennas that stretch across the Cascade Mountains in California.

In two months, the team detected 35 flashes from a single source, which was named FRB 20220912A. Unlike previous bursts that repeated over time, the team noticed that the signal dropped at the central frequency of the bursts.

Scientists tried to determine a certain algorithm with which the bursts occurred but were unable to detect a regular time interval between each of them.

But even this result can help find more similar signals.

The lead author of the study from the SETI Institute, Sofia Sheikh, explained that the new work is exciting because it not only confirms the known properties of FRBs but also reveals new ones.

Currently, scientists still do not know what exactly is the source of these FRBs. A popular theory suggests that these signals can be emitted by collapsing stars, emitting radio waves like a cosmic beacon.

There is also speculation that magnetars (neutron stars with a strong magnetic field) may be behind these bursts. But, as Sheikh explained, none of the existing theories "can explain all the properties that have been observed so far."

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you the story of the WOW signal, which was caught by scientists on Earth in 1977 but has not yet been understood.

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