According to a recent study, this marks the first time astronomers have detected a reliable pattern in the signals, known as, or FRBs. It’s an important step in figuring out where the bursts originate from.
Before now, such pulses appeared to be random in timing. That changed when the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB) discovered a repeating pattern.
The recently detected FRB, known as FRB 180916.J0158+65, sends out bursts that last for four days before stopping for 12 days and then repeating. The first 28 cycles were observed between September 2018 and October 2019 using the CHIME radio telescope in British Columbia.
“We conclude that this is the first detected periodicity of any kind in an FRB source,” the study’s authors said. “The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object.”