Four days of noise. Twelve days of silence. Repeat.
That is the pattern picked up by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) in Kaleden, outlined in a paper submitted to the science journal Nature.
Every 16.35 days, plus or minus about four hours, a fast radio burst from space was picked up by the observatory. That signal would continue for four days, and then fall silent for another twelve.
Then, once again, the noise returned, over and over again for more than 400 days.
This pattern, according to the paper, is unlikely to be a chance coincidence with odds of 1 in 100 quadrillion, worse than the odds for roll snake eyes ten times in a row.
Up until now, every other radio burst recorded did not have an identifiable pattern, no matter how short or long a period they were observed over.
According to the paper, multiple different methods of analyzing the data from the 409-day sample yielded the same identifiable pattern. The sources of these bursts are still subject to speculation.
These particular signals are coming from a distant, super-massive galaxy, close to 150 megaparsecs away. In the paper, it’s described as a solar nursery, where stars are still being formed, over 500 million light-years from Earth.
That means those radio waves have been travelling for 500 million years to reach us.
Due to an embargo, until their paper is finished being peer-reviewed and officially published, members of the CHIME team are unable to speak to the press.
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