Rapid warning system heralds a new era in search of fast radio bursts

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have developed a new system that distributes the vast amounts of data generated by the CHIME radio telescope when it searches for fast radio bursts (Project CHIME / FRB), mysterious flares of extragalactic origin that are one of the most discussed topics in modern astronomy.

For the CHIME / FRB project, the detection of several fast radio bursts in one day of operation is by no means uncommon, since data in the order of one million gigabytes are analyzed.

With a new data distribution system that uses code called the Virtual Observatory Event (VOEvent), a standard language for communicating astronomical events, key information about each fast radio burst recorded by the CHIME telescope can now be sent in real time to observatories around the world.

World, which will allow these observatories to quickly direct their scientific instruments to the source and obtain additional information about it in order to get closer to solving the mystery of the origin of these mysterious outbreaks.

“The enormous amount of data generated by the CHIME / FRB project is a gold mine for the astronomical community, whose members are happy to direct their telescopes to newly discovered fast radio bursts,” said Andrew Zwaniga, Development Team Leader service CHIME / FRB VOEvent Service and assistant professor at the Department of Physics, McGill University, USA.

This system, available free of charge to everyone who has access to the Internet, will help the CHIME / FRB project team to process the huge amount of data generated by the telescope by the astronomical community, and will give the astronomical community – both professionals and amateurs – the opportunity to quickly receive information about new fast radio bursts to observe these mysterious objects in detail and study interesting aspects of their nature.

Fast radio bursts are extremely high-energy radio pulses that are generated far beyond our Milky Way galaxy. Each pulse lasts only a few milliseconds and can be found all over the sky.

And although the true nature of fast radio bursts remains unclear to date, the use of telescopes operating in spectral ranges other than radio – for example, in the optical, X-ray or gamma ranges – will allow scientists to narrow down the range of possible variants of the origin of these flares.

Compiled from materials provided by McGill University.

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