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Eight new repeating radio signals detected from deep space

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most intriguing mysteries of modern astronomy. Picked up from all corners of the cosmos, these perplexing radio signals usually only last milliseconds before fading forever, but some particularly strange ones repeat on an irregular basis. Now the catalog of repeaters has grown substantially, as astronomers have detected a whopping eight new repeating signals.

Since the first fast radio bursts were discovered in 2007 in old data, dozens of signals have been detected. Most are one-off events, but in 2015 a burst was found coming from a location where another burst had been detected in 2012. Since then this source, known as FRB 121102, has given off well over a hundred signals, sometimes lying dormant for months, sometimes flashing dozens of times in the space of a few hours.

For years FRB 121102 was the only known repeater, but back in January this year a second was discovered, followed by a third in June. And now, it looks like the ranks are swelling with a ridiculous bumper crop of eight new repeating sources...

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