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Described as one of the most mysterious phenomena in the universe, a group of scientists this week reported picking up a deep, energetic radio signal coming from somewhere in outer space.
Known as FRBs (or Fast Radio Bursts), the signals arrive with great force but last only a short amount of time, according to a report from The Independent highlighting the discovery. Scientists are still unsure of their origin source, arguing that FRBs may be emerging from some kind of “extreme” environment in space, but none have been able to definitively show where they’re coming from.
The latest FRB, which was detected by researchers at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment in British Columbia, was allegedly the first to be heard between the much deeper frequency range of 400 to 800 MHz, rendering it a much lower signal than many of the FRB episodes before it.
There have reportedly been 30 documented FRB recordings since they were first discovered in 2007 — and while they remain one of the “most mysterious phenomena” in the universe, scientists adamantly believe that FRBs could give us a clue into what sort of extreme activities could be unfolding — up to billions of light years away — when they’re detected.
According to The Independent, FRBs are “incredibly strong signals” which have been detected by telescopes all around the world. But what makes the latest detection, dubbed 180725A, so newsworthy, is that it was seen by researchers manifesting in real time — whereas nearly all FRBs prior had been picked up after the fact.
It’s difficult to know when, and with what amount of force, FRBs will occur, as scientists have yet to distinguish a pattern between them. Plus, most scientists are still at odds over where FRBs come from, with some recent reports suggesting they might be coming from a distant Galaxy.
Prior to the Intergalactic theory, however, most scientists were under the impression that FRBs were coming from within our own galaxy, leading to speculation that they could be originating anywhere from a large star, to jets emerging from a black hole, or even from some sort of extra-terrestrial (alien) life source.