'Number of mysterious fast radio bursts doubled'

Christopher Davidson
October 13, 2018

Mysterious Alien Signals from Across the Universe Picked Up from a New Radio Telescope in Canada. This reduced the accuracy of location of sources of radio signals, but dramatically increased the probability of detection.

Scientists employed the CSIRO telescope in Western Australia to detect a record-breaking number of "alien" fast radio burst.

Shannon and his colleagues doubled the number of known scientists "signals of aliens".

Another 20 fast radio bursts (FRBs) have been observed by astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

The team found the new fast radio bursts, or FRBs, including the closest and brightest (most powerful) yet detected, over the course of a year using the CSIRO radio telescope.

These observations pointed to another curious thing - the frequency of occurrence of similar outbreaks all over the night sky of the southern hemisphere of the Earth turned almost 200 times less than that predicted by observations with the telescope, Parkes, tracking a particular sector of the celestial sphere.

The team reached their findings using the Australia Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder at CSIRO's Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, which is a precursor for the future Square Kilometre Array telescope. Because it's so new, it's equipped with some really interesting technology. With up to 12 available radio antennas pointed at a different region of the sky, this enables amazingly comprehensive coverage.

"Timing the arrival of the different wavelengths tells us how much material the burst has traveled through on its journey".

"Although these things only last for about a millisecond, their radiation dribbles in over a timescale of a few hundred milliseconds to even a second".

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Co-author Dr Jean-Pierre Macquart, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said bursts travel for billions of years and occasionally pass through clouds of gas.

"This is an indication that the burst has travelled through a lot of matter in the Universe".

Timing the arrival of the radiation has allowed the scientists to learn more about the gas between the galaxies, also known as the intergalactic medium, which is quite tenuous and hard to study. This also includes the closet as well as the fastest one which will help in understanding the matter that lies between the galaxies.

So that's pretty cool.

Scientists now know that FRBs come from about halfway across the universe, but it's remains unclear what causes them or which galaxies they come from. Scientists are also deriving what is so powerful that is sending across these signals so far away till the earth.

So the next step in trying to unravel this enigma is to locate precisely which galaxies the bursts are coming from.

When the full version of the SKA and ASKAP will be put into operation, we will be able to locate their position with accuracy up to a thousandth of a degree. That will take us a step closer to homing in on what they are.

"That's about the width of a human hair seen 10 meters away, and good enough to tie each burst to a particular galaxy".

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