Scientists can now track mysterious fast radio bursts in real-time

Radio Bursts

A massive radio observatory dedicated to observing cosmic radio phenomena is located in the Okanagan Valley outside of Penticton, British Columbia; published in Science Alert.

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) is a cylindrical parabolic radio telescope that resembles a “half-pipe” to snowboarders. The National Research Council oversees the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO), which includes this array (NRC).

CHIME scientists have been busy sorting through terabytes of data to pinpoint signals since it went live, often finding several in a single day. To help with all of this data-mining and to coordinate CHIME’s efforts with other facilities around the world, McGill University scientists have developed a new system for sharing the massive amounts of data generated by CHIME.

“The enormous volume of data that CHIME/FRB generates and the large number of new FRBs that it detects each day is like a gold mine for a community that is eager to point every kind of telescope that exists at the next FRB,”

Emily Petroff, a postdoctoral researcher in McGill’s Department of Physics, was instrumental in fine-tuning the alert system before it was made public. As she summarised, the international community’s assistance will significantly advance CHIME science.

Read: Astronomers find celestial ruins on the edge of our galaxy.

“The amount of data coming through since CHIME/FRB started operating in 2018 has been like drinking from a fire hose,” she said. “We simply cannot extract all of the science from this; we require the assistance of the entire world.”

Anyone with a telescope that can point to locations in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to use the alerts to make follow-up observations of the FRBs detected by CHIME, according to the CHIME/FRB VOEvent Service developers.

“We’ve put together tutorials and extensive documentation to help new and experienced VOEvents users get up and running quickly,” Zwaniga said. “On our public-facing CHIME/FRB community GitHub page, we’re inviting community comments and questions about VOEvents.”

This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.

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