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‘Repeating’ radio bursts from outer space leave scientists astonished

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PARIS: Astronomers in Canada have detected a mysterious volley of radio waves from far outside our galaxy, according to two studies published Wednesday in Nature.

What corner of the universe these powerful waves come from and the forces that produced them remain unknown.

The so-called repeating fast radio bursts were identified during the trial run last summer of a built-for-purpose telescope running at only a fraction of its capacity.

Known by its acronym CHIME, the world´s most powerful radio telescope — spread across an area as big as a football pitch — is poised to detect many more of the enigmatic pulses now that it is fully operational.

“At the end of the year, we may have found 1,000 bursts,” said Deborah Good, a PhD student at the University of British Columbia and one of 50 scientists from five institutions involved in the research.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) flash only for a micro-instant but can emit as much energy as the Sun does in 10,000 years.

Exactly what causes these high-energy surges of long waves at the far end of the electromagnetic spectrum remains the subject of intense debate.

More than 60 bursts have been catalogued since 2007, but only one other — observed in 2012 at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico — was a repeater.

“FRBs, it seems, are likely generated in dense, turbulent regions of host galaxies,” Shriharsh Tendulkar, a corresponding author for both studies and an astronomer at McGill University, told AFP.

Cosmic convulsions created by the turbulent gas clouds that give rise to stars, or stellar explosions such supernovae, are both possible incubators.

But consecutive radio bursts are a special case.

No little green men

“The fact that the bursts are repeated rules out any cataclysmic models in which the source is destroyed while generating the burst,” Tendulkar added.

“An FRB emitted from a merger of two neutron stars, or a neutron star and a black hole, for example, cannot repeat.”

It is not yet clear whether the breeding grounds of repeating bursts are different from those that produce only a single radio pulse.

Significantly, the 2012 and 2018 “repeaters” have strikingly similar properties.

CHIME — Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment — also spotted a dozen single burst radio waves, but with an unusual profile.

Most FRBs spotted so far have wavelengths of a few centimetres, but these had intervals of nearly a metre, opening up a whole new line of inquiry for astronomers.

Could these enigmatic radio pulses point to intelligence elsewhere in the Universe? Might they be messages in a bottle?

“It is extremely, extremely unlikely,” said Tendulkar.

“As a scientist, I can´t rule it out 100 per cent. But intelligent life is not on the minds of any astronomer as a source of these FRBs.”

Constructed in British Columbia, CHIME is composed of four, 100-metre long half-pipe cylinders of metal mesh which reconstruct images of the sky by processing the radio signals recorded by more than a thousand antennas.

“This signal processing system is the largest of any telescope on Earth,” the researchers said in a communique.

The other institutions with leading roles are the University of Toronto, the National Research Council of Canada, and the Perimeter Institute.

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Entertainment

The Alchemist

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Paul Coehlo needs no introduction, the author has made a name for himself by writing novels that possess and deliver a profound sense of deeper meaning which exists within this world. His books contain layers upon layers, and can be interpreted by many of us in a very subjective manner and applied to the lives that we ourselves live. Although all of his novels can be considered literary masterpieces in their own right, there is one book that stands out; The Alchemist.

The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to the pyramids of Egypt , after having a recurring dream of finding a treasure there.”

The best thing about this book is that every time you read it, something different is inferred upon you, its as if the content has a life of its own and breathes upon you different perspectives along with grant one newer insights in regards to many things. The Alchemist is a story about self discovery, it is a book about following one’s dreams and the hands of fate themselves. What is meant to be, shall happen; this is often a conundrum we’re faced with, one often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it, various themes like these are presented in the book, depending on how you interpret it. The Alchemist presents to its reader a theme that they can take control of their lives, a dream is something to live for no matter how foolish it seems. Having said that, this is a novel everyone should read once in their lives, no matter what situation they’re in, The Alchemist hits hard, it takes one on a magical journey and leaves them feeling content and enlightened.

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Bollywood

SRK to play Mufasa in Disney’s dubbed Lion King remake

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Indian actor Shahrukh Khan is known as the “King of Bollywood”, but soon the superstar will be playing the king of the jungle, as he has landed the role of a lifetime. He will lend his voice for Disney’s #TheLionKing remake, dubbed in Hindi.

Khan will be playing the role of Mufasa in the film, leaving us with the question: Who will be playing the role of Simba?

Social media users were pleased to know that the iconic father-son duo, would be played by an “equally iconic” real-life father and son duo. Aryan Khan, Shah Rukh Khan’s eldest son, will be filling in Simba’s shoes, or should we say, paws!

The 53-year-old actor shared posters of the movie on Twitter (@iamsrk) and Facebook with a sweet message: “Glad to be a part of this journey… a timeless film. Voicing it in Hindi with my own Simba. The last time we did a film was around 15 years ago and it was ‘Incredible’ and this time around it’s even more fun. Hope everyone enjoys it July 19 onwards. #TheLionKing.”

Aryan Khan has not made his Bollywood debut yet, he has previously voiced the character Dash, in the Hindi version of Disney’s The Incredibles with his father.

On Twitter, Khan’s post was retweeted nearly 4,000 times and had 20,000 likes in just four hours.

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Entertainment

MTV Movie and TV Awards 2019 – The winners

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The MTV Movie & TV Awards celebrated the best on-screen work of the past year this past Monday night. Netflix had a whopping 14 nominations for its TV shows and films, including the award winning “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor for “Best Kiss”

“It was a who’s who of Hollywood celebrities – stars like Daniel Levy, Dave Bautista, David Spade, Elisabeth Moss, Jameela Jamil, Kumail Nanjiani, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish were all there.

“Shazam” star Zachary Levi hosted the show. “The Rock” was awarded the Generation Award, and Jada Pinkett Smith was honored with the Trailblazer Award.

  1. Best Movie – “Avengers: Endgame”

2. Best TV Show – “Game of Thrones”

3. Best performance in a movie – Lady Gaga (Ally) – “A Star is Born”

4. Best performance in a show – Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne/Offred) – “The Handmaid’s Tale”

5. Best Hero – Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) – “Avengers: Endgame”

6. Best Villain – Josh Brolin (Thanos) – “Avengers: Endgame”

7. Best Kiss – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor (Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

8. Reality Royalty – “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”

9. Best Performance – Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

10. Best Fight – “Captain Marvel” – Captain Marvel vs. Minn-Erva

11. Best real life Hero – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “RBG” 

12. Most frightened performance – Sandra Bullock (Malorie) – “Bird Box”

13. Best Documentary – “Surviving R. Kelly” 

14. Best Host – Nick Cannon – “Wild ‘n Out”

15. Best Meme-able moment – “The Bachelor” – Colton Underwood jumps the fence 

16. Best Musical – A Star is Born – “Shallow”

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