Fast Radio Bursts – powerful but brief bursts of radio waves from deep space; they’re puzzling, mysterious, and the latest astronomical discovery.
CHIME is a novel radio telescope originally designed for mapping hydrogen over a portion of the universe. CHIME collects digitized signals that are processed and used to form 3-D maps of hydrogen density, and those maps will be used to measure the expansion history of the universe.
As amazing as CHIME is, it doesn’t stop there because these signals can also pick up and detect fast, transient radio emission, which also makes CHIME a unique telescope for discovering new “Fast Radio Bursts” and monitoring pulsars.
So what did CHIME actually find?
FRB180725A (month, day, and year detected) transmitting in radio frequencies as low as 580 Megahertz, 200 MHZ lower than any FRB previously detected. This low frequency was an indication the bursts were very bright and from a powerful source that we actually found in a galaxy 3 billion light years away!
Right now, were trying to figure out if the sources were naturally occurring or artificial. If they’re artificial…….there could be an alien listening to a radio. Well, maybe, but definitely not on Pluto.
Check back for new and updated information about CHIME and FRB.