Mysterious Space Signals Line Up With the Cosmic Web Connecting the Universe, Scientists Find

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      Scientists have used a powerful radio telescope in the interior of British Columbia, Canada to gain incredible new insights about one of the universe’s most perplexing and brilliant phenomena: Fast radio bursts (FRBs), which are unexplained signals from space. Sometimes they’re one-offs, and sometimes they mysteriously repeat in regular intervals, beating out a cosmic pattern.

      The collaboration behind the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), which scans the deep cosmos from the Okanagan region of BC, announced exciting new results during a press conference on Wednesday at the 238th American Astronomical Society. According to researchers, a new batch of FRB detections has for the first time correlated to the contours of the “cosmic web”; an unimaginably large structure connecting the universe that scientists are only starting to learn about.

      First detected in 2007, these extremely brief and energetic pulses in space sometimes flare up once, sometimes repeat, and pop up all over the sky. Though they are clearly caused by powerful eruptions of some kind, hypotheses about their origins range from energetic supernovae, eruptions from dead stars, and even extraterrestrial intelligence. While dead stars called magnetars have become a particularly compelling candidate, the exact sources of FRBs remains unclear.

      CHIME detected 535 FRBs during its first survey from 2018 and 2019, ushering in “a new phase of FRBs science,” said Kiyoshi Masui, assistant professor of physics at MIT during the collaboration’s AAS conference presentation. With this huge haul of bursts, CHIME singlehandedly quadrupled the number of FRBs found by all other telescopes before it began operations in 2017.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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