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CHIME telescope and collaborative efforts from WVU lead to the detection of more than 500 fast radio bursts



The large stationary radio telescope CHIME, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, has detected 535 fast radio bursts between 2018 and 2019, during its first year of operation. West Virginia University engineer Kevin Bandura explained FRBs are a key to understanding the universe a little bit more.

“Despite not knowing what is causing the FRBs, we can learn more about the universe through them and what is between the FRBs and us,” Bandura, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, said. 

FRBs are among the brightest sources ever seen in the sky, but their origin remains a mystery to scientists. The intense flashes of energy blaze for only a millisecond and then disappear without a trace. Bandura has been collaborating on this project since 2012.

Since the first FRB was discovered in 2007, radio astronomers have only caught sight of around 140 bursts in their scopes until recently. With the help of the radio telescope located at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, operated by the National Research Council of Canada, in British Columbia, Canada, the telescope has nearly quadrupled the number of FRB discovered to date.

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