Featured Image: A CHIME Search for Fast Radio Bursts


The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, is a novel radio telescope originally intended to map features in hydrogen gas to measure dark energy. It has an additional mission now, however: CHIME will search the sky for signs of new fast radio bursts (FRBs). FRBs — energetic transient radio pulses that last only a few milliseconds — were first discovered about a decade ago, and though we’ve only observed ~30 of them so far, some estimates suggest they occur at a rate of several hundred to a few thousand per day across the sky! CHIME’s large field of view, high sensitivity, and wide bandwidth will help us hunt for these explosive events. In a new report by the CHIME/FRB collaboration, the team details this unique telescope, located in British Columbia. CHIME is made up of four 20-m x 100-m semicylindrical paraboloid reflectors, giving it its unusual appearance. The team expects that when CHIME begins science operations, it will detect FRBs at a rate of 2–42 FRBs per sky per day. For more information, check out the article below!


“The CHIME Fast Radio Burst Project: System Overview,” The CHIME/FRB Collaboration et al 2018 ApJ 863 48. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aad188