By Tim Binnall
In what may be a significant breakthrough when it comes to solving the mystery of fast radio bursts, astronomers have reportedly managed to detect a potentially game-changing eight additional repeating versions of the enigmatic pulses. These powerful yet fleeting bursts of energy, known as 'FRBs' for short, have intrigued scientists since 2007 and, in recent years, work to unravel the riddle of the pulses has picked up considerably.
The discovery of the first repeating fast radio burst in 2016 was followed by a second such pulse being found earlier this year. Those two FRBs were fairly anomalous until this week when a team of astronomers in Canada announced that they have actually quintupled the count of repeating fast radio bursts thanks to their detection of eight more of the still-quite-unique pulses. Researchers see this development as particularly promising since it should provide for a wealth of new data on the mysterious phenomenon.
By having information from ten repeating fast radio bursts to work with rather than merely two, scientists hope to be able to find key clues to the FRB mystery by comparing the pulses to each other as well as trying to trace them back to their point of origin in space, which could also provide new insights into the phenomenon. In the meantime, one can expect to see more and more of the bursts being found as concerted efforts are being made to detect them.