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Astronomer comments on radio waves detected 1.5 billion light years away

Astronomers have discovered an unusual repeating radio signal emanating from 1.5 billion light years away. Dr Danny Steeghs and Professor Tom Marsh from the University of Warwick Department of Physics suggest that there may be more of these out there just waiting to be found.

Dr Steeghs said: "Having discovered a second repeating burst source, with very similar characteristics compared to the first, is an important confirmation that we are looking at a class of objects with a common physical origin. It is also relatively nearby, which suggests that there are many more of these repeaters ready to be discovered."

Professor Tom Marsh said: "This is a very interesting discovery in the field of a very mysterious class of object known as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). These are random intense flashes of radio waves from outside our Solar system and most likely outside our Galaxy, which for the most part are never seen to repeat in the same part of the sky. These events have only ever been seen at radio frequencies. Until this paper, there was just one example of a FRB source which had showed more than a single burst. This paper presents the second such repeating source. As well as confirming that whatever objects produce these events can in some cases survive them, it suggests that there may be many more out there to find."

Contact:

Peter Thorley

Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)

Email: peter.thorley@warwick.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50868

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863