One of the astronomers involved in the signal search effort expressed hope that this discovery might encourage other astronomers to “point their telescopes” at the sources of the newly discovered signals.
Astronomers studying the enigmatic signals emanating from space, the so called fast radio bursts (FRB), have recently detected eight new repeating FRBs, bringing the total known number of such signals known to 10, Science Alert reports.
As the media outlet points out, by the beginning of 2019, scientists were aware of the existence of only one repeating FRB (FRB 121102), with the second one (FRB 180814) being reported in January.
The last eight repeating signals were discovered by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) radio telescope, providing researchers with ample opportunity to compare these FRB and determine their similarities and differences.
“I think (and I hope!) the paper will prompt other astronomers to point their telescopes to these newly discovered sources,” physicist Ziggy Pleunis of McGill University remarked. “Then, there is a lot of information here for model builders to work with. I think it will help them figure out what produces repeating FRBs. Also, I think our findings will influence the search strategy of other teams that try to discover repeating FRBs”.
The media outlet also pointed out that the recent discovery may also indicate that “all FRBs are actually repeaters, but some are a lot more active than others.”
“Just as some volcanoes are more active than others, and you can think a volcano is dormant because it has not erupted in a long time,” Pleunis noted.