Where are they from? Mystery intergalactic radio bursts detected
2013-07-08 0:00

By Irene Klotz | NBCNews



Astronomers were on a celestial fishing expedition for pulsing neutron stars and other radio bursts when they found something unexpected in archived sky sweeps conducted by the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia.

The powerful signal, which lasted for just milliseconds, could have been a fluke, but then the team found three more equally energetic transient flashes all far removed from the galactic plane and coming from different points in the sky.

Analysis later indicated that, unlike most cosmic radio signals that originate in the Milky Way or a nearby neighbor galaxy, these four seem to have come from beyond.

Whatever triggered the bursts has come and gone. The signals, detected between February 2011 and January 2012, were one-time events so little follow-up work can be done.

What is known is that in just a few milliseconds, each of the signals released about as much energy as the sun emits in 300,000 years.

“They have come such a long way that by the time they reach the Earth, the Parkes telescope would have to operate for 1 million years to collect enough to have the equivalent energy of a flying mosquito,” astronomer Dan Thornton, with the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, wrote in an email to Discovery News.

Scientists have all kinds of theories about what exotic phenomena may have triggered the bursts. The contenders include colliding magnetars, which are neutron stars with super-strong magnetic fields; evaporating black holes; and gamma ray bursts that involve a supernova.

Or, as Cornell University astronomer James Cordes points out, the bursts could be from an entirely new type of high-energy astrophysical event.

“It is still early days for identifying the astrophysical origins of such common but (so far) rarely detected events,” Cordes wrote in an article published in this week’s Science.

[...]

Read the full article at: nbcnews.com








Related Articles
A Population of Fast Radio Bursts at Cosmological Distances
Aliens Found In Ohio? The "Wow!" Signal
The “Wow!” Signal
Spring Equinox, 3.20.13 – The Gateway & the Love Signal (528 HZ)
Huge solar flare jams radio, satellite signals: NASA
Mysterious Light Pulse From Planet Gliese 581g - Alien Signal?
Mystery Signal Faster than Speed of Light
Is SETI Science?
SETI Scientist: We’ll Find E.T By 2036
SETI opens up its data to ’citizen scientists’


Latest News from our Front Page

The TSA Wants To Read Your Facebook Posts And Check Out Your Purchases Before It Will Approve You For PreCheck
2015-01-26 21:11
The TSA is disappointed that so few Americans have opted out of its bottle-tossing, package-groping screenings by signing up for its PreCheck program. For a few years now, the TSA has been selling travelers' civil liberties back to them, most recently for $85 a head, but it's now making a serious push to increase participation. The TSA can't do it ...
What Happens To Privacy When The Internet Is In Everything?
2015-01-26 20:10
This week Google’s Eric Schmidt was on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he suggested that the future Internet will be, in one sense, invisible — because it will be embedded into everything we interact with. “The Internet will disappear,” he predicted (via The Hollywood Reporter). “There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things ...
Harvard Professor: Government Mosquito Drones will Extract Your DNA
2015-01-26 20:42
"Privacy is dead," academic tells Davos elite Harvard Professor Margo Seltzer warned that miniature mosquito drones will one day forcibly extract your DNA on behalf of the government and insurance companies as she told elitists at the World Economic Forum in Davos that privacy was dead. Seltzer, a professor in computer science at Harvard University, told attendees, “Privacy as we knew it ...
Netanyahu ‘spat in our face,’ White House officials said to say
2015-01-23 22:28
The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face. “We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior ...
Creators of martial law film "Grey State" found dead, reported as murder-suicide
2015-01-23 17:16
The creator of a not-yet-completed film about a central government takeover of society following a collapse and his family have been found dead in their Minnesota home, with authorities claiming that the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide. As reported by the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis, David Crowley, 29, his wife, Komel, 28, and their 5-year-old daughter were found ...
More News »