The two CHORD telescopes are tiny compared to the larger synthesis telescopes (right) and CHIME (left) radio telescopes they will eventually assist and replace at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory. 512 of the new telescopes will be built at the observatory to help better probe the secrets of the universe. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

CHIME finds four days of noise, twelve days of silence from space

The radio telescope picked up the first recorded pattern in radio signals from space

  • Feb. 16, 2020 1:15 p.m.

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.

READ MORE: Learn how a radio telescope in the South Okanagan may unlock mysteries of space

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.

READ MORE: POLL: Are we alone in space?

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.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Aviation and space

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Osoyoos knife-wielding woman wins appeal to reduce sentence

Court of Appeal settled that the sentencing judge erred in principle, and the sentence was unfit

FortisBC offers 90-day bill deferrals to customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers can apply for the relief program through the utility’s website

Online marketplace for downtown Penticton businesses an opportunity to support local

Marketplace will help support local businesses and assist customers in finding goods and services

RCMP pursuit in Okanagan Falls leads to arrest of Penticton man

Seamus Kirby of Penticton is facing numerous charges including flight from police

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Most Read