China’s giant telescope picks up signals from deep space

Astronomers design AI to better detect mysterious space signals

Chinese astronomers have detected repeated fast radio bursts, mysterious signals believed to be from a source about three billion light-years from the Earth, with the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope, the official media reported here on Monday. Scientists at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences think that this can help shed light on the origin of FRBs, and also their physical mechanisms.

The "fast radio bursts" were detected by China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope - also known as FAST - and are now being analysed.

First discovered by a West Virginia University professor Duncan Lorimer and his student David Narkevic in 2007, the nature of FRBs remains a mystery and is yet to be thoroughly explored.

Repeated fast radio bursts (FRB), occurring at a distance of about 3 billion light-years from Earth have been picked up.

FAST latched on to FRB 121102 on August 30, before recording dozens of later pulses (on one particular day, September 3, more than 20 pulses were detected).

Fast radio bursts are bright pulses of radio emission mere milliseconds in duration, thought to originate from distant galaxies, Xinhua reported. At the same time, they are carefully examining it.

The capacity of the FAST facility is truly wonderful thanks to its ultra-sensitive 19-beam receiver installed on the enormous telescope body.

China's aperture spherical radio telescope.

Given the significance of this source and its now apparent active state, FAST is carrying out more monitoring.

FAST, nicknamed in China as Tianyan, is a radio telescope located in the Dawodang depression, a natural basin in Guizhou.

The telescope's considerable observational power will be used by astronomers from various nations to study such phenomena as exoplanets, gravitational waves and ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.

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