A team of astronomers working with the a new six-hockey-field sized telescope array called CHIME 'Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment' (which resembles a series of half pipes) has detected a second set of FRBs (Fast Radio Bursts) from the same location as a previous burst.
The source of the FRBs is estimated at 1.5 billion light years. Fast Radio Bursts have been detected ~60 times in the past, but what makes this unique is that this set of signals originates from the same place as previous signals were detected.
Considering the cosmically violent nature of some of the phenomena scientists speculate could cause FRBs, a repeating signal from the same location is of significant interest.
"There is a lot of speculation in the astrophysical transient community about the origin of these events and a number of theories have been put forward to explain how they are formed," Kate Maguire, a researcher at the Astrophysics Research Center at Queen’s University Belfast who had no involvement in the study, said over email.
A leading theory, however, is that the leftover cores of exploded massive stars, known as neutron stars, may be releasing the short, powerful signals, said Maguire.
these repeating radio waves show signs of "scattering" — which suggests that the waves traveled through a turbulent patch of space filled with interstellar gases. That means the signals likely came from a place where there's a denser clump of stuff, like the remnants of an exploded star (called a supernova), University of Toronto astronomer and study coauthor Cherry Ng said in a statement.
Of course, this being SN, I really don't have to say this, but,
"I can understand the public's imagination would go that way [aliens], but there are a lot of simpler explanations than extraterrestrial intelligence," said Tendulkar.
In that vein, it is possible that the FRB frequency distribution will suspiciously match that of skateboard wheels going up and down a half pipe.