Canada has reached quite the goal of finding the biggest number of FRBs (fast radio bursts). And all the work was done by a radio telescope.
CHIME (the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) has just quadrupled the amount of detections of strange cosmic signals: 535 new ones! Now, the novel collection will help scientists understand better FRBs.
Here is what you need to know.
Through CHIME’s Lenses
CHIME succeeded in identifying up to 535 new FRBs between 2018 and 2019. Such an achievement is genuinely intriguing.
Moreover, the findings will help us understand more about the origin of the strange cosmic signals, so we could eventually use them as a tool to map the Universe.
“With all these sources, we can really start getting a picture of what FRBs look like as a whole, what astrophysics might be driving these events, and how they can be used to study the Universe going forward,” explained Kaitlyn Shin, an astrophysicist at MIT and CHIME assistant.
CHIME’s mighty tools
CHIME is a fixed telescope that wears four parabolic antennas for an extra-wide field of view, optimized for FRB wavelengths. Their task is to stare at the sky, waiting for any FRBs.
FACT: CHIMES can generate approximately 7 terabytes of data/s.
What is an FRB?
FRBs are pretty great. They’re defined as striking blasts of light in radio wavelengths from millions of light-years away. What’s more intriguing is that FRBs can last only for a few milliseconds. But they sure know how to make an impression, being as powerful as 500 million Suns.
We came across the first FRBs back in 2007.
Since then, scientists’ work was puzzled by their mysterious origin and their tricky way of just existing. It’s like you’re staring at the sky and hoping for an FRB – the chances are pretty low to none.
So, that’s why CHIME truly shines. Its work is fabulous and the discoveries even more.