By Tim Binnall
Some potential new pieces to the puzzle of fast radio bursts (FRBs) have been produced by a sophisticated telescope in Canada that detected a whopping 13 new occurrences of the mysterious phenomenon. The incredibly brief, but enormously powerful pulses emanating from somewhere in space have perplexed astronomers since first being spotted in 2007. Upon the discovery of the first FRB, scientists set about trying to solve the mystery and, in recent years, projects dedicated to searching for more of them have resulted in the number of documented bursts steadily increasing.
This brings us to a newly-published paper which details the discoveries of a radio telescope in Canada that reportedly picked up 13 FRBs during a scan of space this past summer. Increasing the total number of bursts detected so far to be around 70, the newfound FRBs may not merely be more fodder for the maddening scientific mystery, however, as these particular pulses differ slightly from those previously recorded. One assumes, therefore, that comparison between the different types of bursts found to date may yield some kind of clue or, at least, new questions about the phenomenon for astronomers to ask.
But by far the most exciting aspect of this latest development in the quest to get to the bottom of FRBs is that, among the 13 new pulses detected, astronomers discovered only the second repeating burst ever observed. And with the Canadian project only having just begun this past summer, it is hoped that they'll eventually be able to pick up more FRBs coming from that specific source in the same way that scientists have culled from the previously discovered repeating burst.
With a number of research projects around the world working on the FRB mystery, it stands to reason that the tally of detected bursts will continue to grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years. To that end, one suspects that the eventual wealth of data on the phenomenon will ultimately and unfortunately, for UFO enthusiasts, produce a prosaic answer to the mystery. Until then, though, we can still hold on to some hope, since the FRB-ET hypothesis appears to still be in play for now.
Coast Insiders can learn more about the fast radio burst phenomenon by checking out the 9/17/2018 edition of C2C featuring SETI's Seth Shostak as well as investigative reporter Linda Moulton Howe's 3/30/2017 report on FRBs. Not a Coast Insider yet? Sign up today.