Scientists have recently discovered signals that are emanating from a specific area far beyond our own universe, which are coming from the same location as the 10 powerful radio signals which were recorded in March this year.
These fast radio bursts (FRB) only last milliseconds, however they are some of the most explosive signals that have ever been detected from space, as they generate as much energy as the sun in an entire day during their incredibly short recording.
When these recordings were detected in the past, scientists thought that they were one-off occurrences which all came from random locations in space, however, since the detection of the 10 repeating signals from the same location, added to the newly found similar bursts, scientists are now stumped as to the cause of these incredibly powerful, but random, bursts.
Researchers have estimated that there are currently about 2,000 similar FRBs firing across our universe every single day, but due to the fact that they are so short-lived, they are difficult to detect and record.
Despite this, with advances of ongoing research, this year researchers were quick enough to be able to see one happening live, which has never happened before, and ever since they were first detected in 2007, they have always had to be examined after they have occurred, using gathered data.
Scientists are currently working hard to discover what is causing these bursts, and are closely looking at the 16 powerful bursts that have all come from the same area, which will help to narrow down the possible causes.
All previous detected bursts have appeared to come from within our Milky Way galaxy, until the 10 which were identified in March this year – although they actually occurred in May and June 2015. These newly discovered bursts were the first to be detected outside our galaxy, as well as creating a repeating pattern which has never been seen before.
When the researchers examined all of their collected data, they noticed that one FRB from 2012 also came from the same location as the most recent 10.
The mysterious signals which indicate that there is something going on to cause these bursts outside of our universe are now known as FRB 121102, after the first one that was detected in this location.
The team wrote in The Astrophysical Journal: “We have detected six additional radio bursts from this source: five with the Green Bank Telescope at 2 GHz, and one at 1.4 GHz with the Arecibo Observatory, for a total of 17 bursts from this source.”
This newfound information now contradicts previously believed evidence that we have FRBs coming from within our own galaxy, which recent information shows is not the case.
One theory for the cause of these bursts that is currently being discussed is the idea that the powerful bursts are coming from a young neutron star that is rotating so powerfully that it is sending out these bursts to our Milky Way.
Researchers have said: “Whether FRB 121102 is a unique object in the currently known sample of FRBs, or all FRBs are capable of repeating, its characterisation is extremely important to understanding fast extragalactic radio transients”.
Research teams are continuing to work on detecting more FRBs and studying all data collected in a huge attempt to discover the reason behind these frequent fast radio bursts.