Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors who’ve shared the following news:
(Source: Southgate ARC)
Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected
BBC News report astronomers have revealed details of mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy, picked up by a telescope in Canada.
The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown.
Among the 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away.
Such an event has only been reported once before, by a different telescope.
“Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there,” said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).
“And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they’re from and what causes them.”
The CHIME observatory, located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, consists of four 100-metre-long, semi-cylindrical antennas, which scan the entire northern sky each day.
The telescope only got up and running last year, detecting 13 of the radio bursts almost immediately, including the repeater.
Read the full BBC News article
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who shares an update to his previous post regarding Fast Radio Bursts. Ed writes:
Here’s a followup article explaining, “Five Reasons Why The Signals From Stephen Hawking’s Breakthrough Initiative Aren’t Aliens”.
It compares the power of these Fast Radio Bursts (FRB’s) with that of the mediumwave array in Roumoules, France (the most powerful radio broadcast facility in the world) which is reportedly nineteen orders of magnitude *weaker* than these FRB signals. Wow!
It also mentions the novel Canadian CHIME radio telescope under construction [above], which will have the most gain of any in the world.
Thanks, Ed! Yeah, while I would certainly love to hear that the SETI program has identified broadcasts from other intelligent beings, the likelihood is that any candidate signal(s) are explainable in many other ways. Still, what’s so great about the SETI program is they doggedly pursue the search, pour over the data, scrutinize the results, draw conclusions then continue the search.
For the first time, scientists have tracked the source of a “fast radio burst” – a fleeting explosion of radio waves which, in this case, came from a galaxy six billion light-years away.
The cause of the big flash, only the seventeenth ever detected, remains a puzzle, but spotting a host galaxy is a key moment in the study of such bursts.
It also allowed the team to measure how much matter got in the way of the waves and thus to “weigh the Universe”.
Their findings are published in Nature.
Continue reading on the BBC website…
Being a fan of radio astronomy, I find this sort of news fascinating.
Six billion light-years…that’s some serious DX!