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Signals From Deep Space Originated 3 Billion Light Years From Earth

Signals From Deep Space Originated 3 Billion Light Years From Earth

(AP Photo/NASA)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 January 2017 07:28 PM

Astronomers in New Mexico have discovered fast radio bursts from deep space originated three billion light years to Earth.

"The simplest interpretation is that the burst source resides in a host galaxy that also contains the persistent radio counterpart,” the researchers wrote in the Nature and Astrophysical Journal Letters. "If so, the DM of the burst source has contributions from the electron density in the Milky Way disk and halo, the intergalactic medium and the host galaxy."

Fast radio bursts were first reported in 2007 by Duncan Lorimer, an astronomer at West Virginia University. They are pulses of radio waves that last only a few milliseconds but can generate as much energy as the Sun.

Scientists have only recorded 18 of these signals, including once live in Australia in 2015, but suggest there could be thousands emitted per day. Last year, signals recorded in two different instances came from the same direction, totaling 17.

"The best guess as to what's causing the FRBs is that some sort of massive object is acting up, or perhaps swallowing something else," Seth Shostak, the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California, wrote on NBC.com.

"Maybe a black hole, maybe a neutron star. No one knows for sure, but now that at least one FRB has been tracked down, astronomers can ratchet up their observations to learn more. . . . It's tempting to wonder if they could be screeches transmitted by intelligent beings. That's not impossible: The raw ingredients for life, including habitable planets, were certainly in place many billions of years ago."

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Astronomers in New Mexico have discovered fast radio bursts from deep space originated three billion light years to Earth.
fast radio bursts, space, NASA, astronomers
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2017-28-11
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 07:28 PM
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