Search icon


09th Jan 2019

Radio signals coming from deep space detected in Canada

Mysterious radio signals coming from a distant galaxy have been detected by a telescope in Canada, astronomers have revealed

Reuben Pinder

Not going to lie, this has, as Danny Dyer would say, freaked my nut

Radio waves coming from a distant galaxy in outer space have been detected by a telescope in Canada. Currently, the origin of the signals is unknown.

The signals consist of 13 fast radio bursts, known as ‘FRBs’. It was reportedly a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source, approximately 1.5 billion light years away.

The bursts last for just a millisecond but they travel with the same amount of energy the sun takes 12 months to produce. Good luck getting your head round that.

More than 60 fast radio bursts detected so far, but just one of them has ever repeated.

“Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there,” said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they’re from and what causes them.”

The CHIME observatory, in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, has four 100-metre-long, semi-cylindrical antennas, which scan the entire northern sky each day. Mind-blowing, I know.

The telescope was launched last year, detecting 13 of the radio bursts almost immediately, including the repeater that was detected today.

It’s not yet clear what is causing them but there are a number of theories: either a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field that is spinning very rapidly and two neutron stars merging together.

Others believe it may be some form of alien spaceship.


Outer space