HomeAstronomy'Weird signal' hails from the Milky Way. What's causing it?

‘Weird signal’ hails from the Milky Way. What’s causing it?

All About Space

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For 13 years, astronomers believed themselves to be lucky. They had been studying fast radio bursts (FRBs) from outside our galaxy — and then they became luckier still. On April 28, 2020, two ground-based radio telescopes detected an intense pulse of radio waves within the Milky Way. It was the first time an FRB had ever been detected within our galaxy and, despite only lasting a mere millisecond, it was almost impossible to miss.

Located just 30,000 light-years away from Earth, the FRB was picked up by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) and the Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE2). “CHIME wasn’t even looking in the right direction and we still saw it loud and clear in our peripheral vision,” said Kiyoshi Masui, assistant professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “STARE2 also saw it, and it’s only a set of a few radio antennae literally made out of cake pans.”

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