Massachusetts Institute of Technology astronomers have discovered repeating radio sounds coming from a galaxy billions of light-years away.
Although they haven’t been able to pinpoint the radio waves’ exact position, scientists believe they may have originated from neutron stars, which are formed when the cores of huge stars collide.
According to researchers, the signals have been present consistently and can last up to three seconds. The majority of fast radio bursts, or FRBs, only last a few milliseconds.
MIT stated: “Within this window, the team detected bursts of radio waves that repeat every 0.2 seconds in a clear periodic pattern, similar to a beating heart,”
“Not only was it very long, lasting about three seconds, but there were periodic peaks that were remarkably precise, emitting every fraction of a second — boom, boom, boom — like a heartbeat,” said Daniele Michilli, a postdoctoral researcher in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. “This is the first time the signal itself is periodic.”
The frequency of the bursts and how they vary depending on how close the source is to Earth may provide information that can be used to calculate how quickly the cosmos is expanding.
The statement about the repetitive radio signals follows the release earlier this week of the first images of the universe from the James Webb Space Telescope. Those images show some galaxies created more than 13 billion years ago.