Repeating FRBs may be a rare finding, but they’re even stranger than their single counterparts. In regular FRBs, they emit a single spike. But in the two repeaters, astronomers found different spikes coming in at slightly different frequencies and times.
“We don’t see these kinds of structures from other fast radio bursts that are in a single burst,” said Tendulkar. “So that is exciting. It might point to a difference between their internal mechanisms.”
These 13 FRBs, which include the repeater, were detected on a much lower frequency than had been detected before. Most FRBs found are at frequencies near 1400 megahertz (MHz). But these were found in the band between 400 and 800 MHz.
“The CHIME frequency band sits in this gap where we didn’t know anything about, so that’s fantastic,” Tendulkar said. “It gives us a lot more information.”
More to come
Stairs credits the discoveries to an “amazing team” of post-doctoral researchers and is confident more findings are on the horizon.
“CHIME is looking at the whole northern sky every day so there’s plenty of possibilities to find more of these things,” she said. “The fact that we found a second one just like that in a way implies that there could be lots more out there.”
As for the mystery behind the FRBs — and especially the repeating ones — the Canadian team hopes that with CHIME now at full capacity, more of these repeaters will reveal themselves.
“CHIME is still in its early days and most of the exciting results are yet to come,” Smith said.
Sources: • CBC
Featured Image: CHIME, Andre Renard, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto