Mystery Signal Coming From Inside The Milky Way Is Repeating Itself Joseph Muna Published in Nov 2020 / Updated in Mar 2021 A mysterious cosmic radio wave, coming from a star within our galaxy, is repeating—and it might help solve mysteries of the universe. The ultra-bright flashes of energy, more powerful than those from the Sun, comes from a young star about 30,000 light-years away. Back in April, multiple telescopes detected a comic signal coming from the star. And it has repeated twice in the months since, according to a new scientist report. Called Fast Radio Bursts (FRB), these high-intensity emissions usually last only for a fraction of a second. Scientists detected the first-ever FRB back in 2007. However, the waves were too far away to make out where they came from. Since then, researchers have detected more than 100 of these waves. But only a handful have repeated, and even fewer in a predictable pattern. Due to this, it makes them notoriously difficult to study. Their origins have also eluded scientists for over a decade now. Researchers say the cosmic radio flares are the closest FRBs they have identified to date. The waves come from an object called a magnetar. Magnetars are a type of neutron star with a powerful magnetic field, and only a few are thought to be present on the Milky Way. Physicists previously speculated magnetars could produce FRBs, though there’s no actual evidence to this claim. That means these signals don’t come from alien civilizations, as some UFO hunters claim. The new research, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, builds upon an earlier ground-breaking paper about the FRB, called FRB 200428. That study confirmed the signal from the magneton star SGR 1935+2154 was a fast radio burst. Meanwhile, the new study reveals the star has emitted two more bursts of varying intensity since April, meaning the burst repeats. And researchers from Chalmers University in Sweden monitored the burst’s source every night for four weeks following its discovery. On May 24, the Westerbork Radio Telescope in the Netherlands detected 2-millisecond radio bursts from the magnetar. The waves were 1.4 seconds apart. Dr. Kenzie Nimmo of the University of Amsterdam said: We clearly saw two bursts, extremely close in time.Like the flash seen from the same source on April 28, this looked just like the fast radio bursts we’d been seeing from the distant universe, only dimmer. The study also provides strong new evidence linking FRBs to magnetars. So, that can only mean scientists are just a step closer to solving one of the universe’s greatest mysteries. And since these bursts are of different strengths, it suggests that more than one process within the stars produces the signals. But one question still remains, ‘how do magnetars produce FRBs?’ Dr. Kiyoshi Masui, a physicist who studies FRBs at MIT earlier, said: We’re trying to piece together what it all means.We have our eyes open for other magnetars. But the big thing now is to study this one source and drill down to see what it tells us about how [it produces] FRBs.