Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), space, mystery, galaxy,
An artist's illustration of a light-sail powered by a radio beam (red) generated on the surface of a planet. The leakage from such beams as they sweep across the sky would appear as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), similar to the new population of sources that was discovered recently at cosmological distances. [Representational image]M. Weiss/CfA

An Indian scientist recently discovered 15 repeating radio bursts emitted by a dwarf galaxy after observing it for five hours.

Here's all you need to know about the finding:

1. This discovery was made by Breakthrough Listen postdoctoral researcher Vishal Gajjar, who was detecting extraterrestrials. The dwarf galaxy that gave out these 15 electromagnetic emissions is located at a distance of around 3 million light years from Earth.

2. Breakthrough Listen was launched in 2015 as an initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe. As per the hypotheses of the researchers, these emissions could be from an energy source that is being utilised by extraterrestrial civilisations to fuel their spaceships.

"Bursts from this source have never been seen at this high a frequency," said Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Centre and a member of the Breakthrough Listen programme.

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3. "When the recently-detected pulses left their host galaxy, our entire Solar System was just 2 billion years old," said Breakthrough Listen in a statement, referring to the 15 fast radio bursts (FRBs).

It added: "Life on Earth consisted of only single-celled organisms, and it would be another billion years before even the simplest multi-cellular life began to evolve." 

Fast Radio Bursts, FRB, dwarf galaxy,

4. The Parkes Telescope in Australia had spotted FRBs for the first time. The phenomenon was later observed by numerous radio telescopes across the world. FRBs are basically radiant emissions from distant galaxies. 

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5. The sources of FRBs are distant and usually unidentified. Discovered on November 2, 2012, FRB 121102 is believed to be the source of these 15 radio bursts. FRB 121102 is the only one known to repeat: More than 150 high-energy bursts have been observed coming from the object. It was identified last year as a dwarf galaxy located 3 million light years from Earth.

6. Researchers are trying to understand what leads to the formation of FRBs, and the dwarf galaxy has turned into the main target for all the monitoring operations carried out across the world.

"As well as confirming that the source is in a newly active state, the high resolution of the data obtained by the Listen instrument will allow measurement of the properties of these mysterious bursts at a higher precision than ever possible before," said the Breakthrough Listen statement.