A strange radio signal pulsing “like a heartbeat” has been spotted BILLIONS of light-years from Earth

Scientists have discovered a RADIO signal beating like a heart in an unknown galaxy billions of light-years from Earth.

Its source’s pulses are millions of times brighter than similar stars in our own galaxy, and the radio bursts last 1,000 times longer than average.

Artist's rendering of a fast radio burst captured by radio telescopes on Earth

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Artist’s rendering of a fast radio burst captured by radio telescopes on EarthCredit: AFP or Licensor

Researchers say the signal, which is a type of rapid radio burst, appears to be blinking with surprising regularity.

But the source of the eruption, seen by telescopes in Canada, remains a mystery.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) originate from largely mysterious sources in space and typically last only a few milliseconds.

This takes up to three seconds, about 1,000 times longer than the average FRB.

The team detected bursts of radio waves repeating every 0.2 seconds in a clear pattern resembling that of a beating heart.

The team says it’s the longest-lasting fast radio burst and hits clearer than anyone else.

Where it came from remains a mystery, but it’s located in a distant galaxy several billion light-years from Earth.

The team say it could have come from either a radio pulsar or a magnetar, both of which are types of neutron stars — extremely dense, rapidly spinning, collapsed cores of giant stars.

The signals it sends out, such as B. the frequency of explosions and how they change as the source moves away from Earth could be used to measure the rate at which the universe is expanding.

The first rapid burst was spotted in 2007, and since then hundreds of similar bursts have been spotted across the universe.

Between 2018 and 2020, scientists discovered the first rapid radio bursts that appeared to be sending out radio waves in a regular pattern.

This signal consisted of a four-day window of random bursts that then repeated every 16 days.

The 16-day pattern gave them regularity, but the signal of the breakouts themselves was random.

The new discovery was captured by a telescope in British Columbia, Canada, on December 21, 2019.

The telescope, part of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, was designed by Dr. Daniele Michilli occupied when the unusual signal emerged.

He explained: “It was unusual. Not only was it very long, lasting about three seconds, but there were periodic spikes that were remarkably precise, sending out every split second—boom, boom, boom—like a heartbeat.”

The team found similarities between it and emissions from radio pulsars and magnetars in our own galaxy.

Radio pulsars are neutron stars that emit beams of radio waves that appear to pulse as the star rotates, while similar emission is produced by magnetars due to their extreme magnetic fields.

However, the emissions from the new radio burst were more than a million times brighter.

dr Michilli says the glowing flashes could have come from a distant radio pulsar or magnetar, which is normally less bright when rotating but for an unknown reason has been emitting a train of brilliant bursts in a rare three-second window the team luckily in a position to capture it.

He added: “CHIME has now detected many fast radio bursts with different characteristics.

“We’ve seen some living in very turbulent clouds, while others appear to be in clean environments.

“From the properties of this new signal, we can say that there is a plasma plume around this source, which must be extremely turbulent.”

The team hopes to recapture the bizarre outburst in the future so they can understand more about where it’s coming from and about neutron stars in general.

dr Michilli from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US added: “This discovery raises the question of what could be causing this extreme signal that we have never seen before and how we can use this signal to study the Universe.

“Future telescopes promise to detect thousands of fast radio bursts each month, and at that point we may find many more of these periodic signals.”

The results were published in the journal Nature.

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9094274/radio-signal-pulses-heartbeat-earth/ A strange radio signal pulsing “like a heartbeat” has been spotted BILLIONS of light-years from Earth

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