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

Man allegedly impersonates health authority official, takes elderly Princeton woman from her home

A man allegedly impersonating an official from Interior Health escorted an elderly… Continue reading

COLUMN: Plenty of online reading options

Libraries are closed due to COVID-19 but downloads are available through Okanagan Regional Library

Summerland care facility orders reusable masks

Okanagan Valley quilters ready to produce cloth masks if needed

Summerland skeletons carry COVID-19 messages

Heather Pescada’s skeletons, normally displayed at Halloween, are appearing on Facebook and Instagram

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery’s spirits that would have become whisky or gin is now being denatured to make hand sanitizer

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Salmon Arm businesses close, adjust in response to COVID-19 crisis

Groups united behind the scenes to support needs of community

New Kelowna business committed to growing B.C. beverage industry

Liquid Kudos connects BC beverage producers with new markets

Thousands affected by Penticton power outages

Two corresponding issues have resulted in approx. 7000 without power

Stop skiing on Mount Mackenzie: Revelstoke Mountain Resort

The resort said access to the mountain is strictly prohibited at this time

Dyer: Use your COVID-19 time to fight climate change

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Most Read