Volume 566 Issue 7743, 14 February 2019

Space and CHIME

This issue presents the first observations to come from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), a radio telescope located near Penticton in British Columbia. The data were collected while the new instrument was being tested in July and August last year. In the first of two papers, the CHIME/FRB Collaboration reports the observation of 13 fast radio bursts, which were detected at frequencies as low as 400 megahertz. Fast radio bursts are emissions that last about a millisecond and originate far outside the Milky Way, although their emission mechanism is uncertain. Despite substantial searches, such bursts have not previously been detected below 700 MHz. In the companion paper, the collaboration reveals that the source of one of the bursts is actually a repeating fast radio burst, only the second such source to be detected. The researchers suggest this early detection indicates that CHIME is likely to observe a lot more repeating fast radio bursts over its lifetime.

Cover image: Andrew Fyfe

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