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'Fast Radio Burst' Count Nearly Doubles as 19 New FRBs Are Found

'Fast Radio Burst' Count Nearly Doubles as 19 New FRBs Are Found

By Tim Binnall

Astronomers hoping to unlock the secret of the mysterious space phenomenon known as 'fast radio bursts' may have picked up some new clues thanks to the detection of a whopping 19 new signals. Since they were discovered 2007, these potent but brief radio pulses have puzzled scientists as they are particularly fleeting and seemingly occur at random aside from one spot in space where they are known to repeat. As one can imagine, the phenomenon has proven to be a rather tantalizing realm of research to the astronomical community, since their sheer strength hints at the possibility of an ET origin.

The most recent attempt at solving the mystery of the pulses comes from Australia where a team of researchers wielded a monstrous array of 36 radio telescope dishes to scan the sky looking for FRBs. According to the astronomers behind the project, the massive system was able to scan a section of space 1,000 times the area of the full moon. And, by any measure, it appears that the endeavor was a rousing success as the group announced this week that they have found 19 new FRBs which nearly doubles to the total amount of pulses that have been observed to date.

Although still incredibly enigmatic, the researchers say that their work has been able to determine that "fast radio bursts are coming from the other side of the universe rather than from our own galactic neighborhood." Intriguingly, the group also indicated that their FRBs are noticeably different from the ones which have been detected emanating from the same location in space, suggesting that there could actually be different classes of fast radio bursts. These findings may not answer the question of what is creating FBRs, but one assumes that the project produced a wealth of data which is being pored over by astronomers looking to spot some proverbial breadcrumbs which could lead the way for future studies.

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.

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