Tags: astronomers | radio waves | space | frbs

Astronomers Detect Strongest Burst of Radio Waves From Space Since 2007

Astronomers Detect Strongest Burst of Radio Waves From Space Since 2007
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By    |   Saturday, 17 March 2018 08:16 PM

Astronomers earlier this month detected the strongest fast radio burst (FRB) from outer space since first documenting them in 2007, according to news reports Saturday.

FRBs are strong blasts of radio waves that flash from distant space for milliseconds and then disappear, The New Scientist reports.

The blasts can emit as much power as "500 million suns but they last only a few milliseconds and arrive without any warning," RT News.com reports.

As such, they are "impossible to predict or trace to a source."

Three bursts were detected this month by the Parkes radio telescope in Australia: on March 1; the strongest, on March 9; and on March 11.

The second, labelled FRB 180309 for the date on which it occurred, has a "staggering" signal-to-noise ratio of 411, RT reports.

That exceeded the previous signal-to-noise ratio record of 90. Many FRBs recorded by scientists have had ratios of less than 20.

"The burst on 9 March was by far the brightest one we’ve seen," Maura McLaughlin, a professor at West Virginia University, told the New Scientist.

Researchers first noticed FRBs in 2007 when the "Lorimer burst" was discovered in data that had been archived from 2001.

FRBs have since been detected from a total of 33 sources in space, RT reports.

Little remains known about the "strange astrophysical phenomena" — and just last April, researchers confirmed that the signals were from outer space.

Because FRBs are so bright, some experts say they are caused by such powerful events as the collision of black holes, neutron stars or other very dense objects.

"FRBs travel billions of years to get to us, and only last a few milliseconds, suggesting the emission mechanism is short-lived," Danny Price, a research fellow at the University of California-Berkeley, told RT News.

"For us to detect them clearly after such a long journey, they have also to be insanely bright."

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Astronomers earlier this month detected the strongest fast radio burst (FRB) from outer space since first documenting them in 2007, according to news reports Saturday.
astronomers, radio waves, space, frbs
330
2018-16-17
Saturday, 17 March 2018 08:16 PM
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