What was a puzzling mystery, a phantom signal coming from deep in the universe, has finally been solved by scientists who discovered its source.
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), were heard 18 times and proved to be an unknown mystery for researchers since they were discovered in 2007. No one knew where they were coming from, or how were they produced, with theories covering huge stars, jets of material exiting a black hole or even alien life forms.
Powerful but very short in duration, FRBs are radio waves that are not longer than a millisecond. The first one ever was detected in 2007 by the Parkes telescope in Australia, and have since then, been recorded 17 times more, with only just one being repeated more than once.
After six months of researching, a team of scientists pinpointed the source of these fast radio bursts to a faint dwarf galaxy which is at more than three billion light-years away from our own. The particular burst that was studied, FRB 121102, was detected using a Very Large Array, a multi-antenna radio telescope from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Dr. Shriharsh Tendulkar, a member of the team that studied the FRBs from McGill University in Montreal, Canada said: “Before we knew the distance to any FRBs, several proposed explanations for their origins said they could be coming from within or near our own Milky Way galaxy. We now have ruled out those explanations, at least for this FRB.”