Tags: cosmic | radio | burst | measured

Cosmic Radio Burst Measured in Real Time for the First Time Ever

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 09:50 AM

A cosmic radio burst known as a blitzar was measured in real time for the first time ever by an Australian PhD student this month.

"It could have given off as much energy in a few milliseconds as the Sun does in a day," Emily Petroff of Swinburne University of Technology said on the school's official blog.

"These bursts were generally discovered weeks, months or even more than a decade after they happened. We are the first to catch one in real time."

The burst of radio waves comes from a faraway event, likely five billion light years from Earth. Many scientists think blitzars are created by a neutron star collapsing into a black hole, but no one knows for sure just what causes these short, extreme events.

The first blitzar noticed by humans was recorded in 2007 using CSIRO’s 64 meter Parkes radio telescope in eastern Australia, but wasn't recognized by scientists as a unique phenomenon until later, after the data was reviewed. In total, astrophysicists have since identified seven such radio bursts hiding in the records of past observations.

Ever since, scientists have been on the active lookout to record a blitzar in real time. When one rained down from the sky, they were ready, and 12 telescopes around the world turned to focus on the spot the waves emanated from, looking for clues of their birth.



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A cosmic radio burst known as a blitzar was measured in real time for the first time ever by an Australian PhD student this month.
cosmic, radio, burst, measured
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2015-50-20
Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 09:50 AM
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