Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Far fetched? Maybe, but one possibility. From a galaxy far, far away, like 6 to 11 million light years away, we have received radio emissions. Nothing else. No radiation to indicate Neutron stars or background radiation that is linked to the big bang. These radio bursts are short lived, a mili-second, and occur about 10,000 times a day.

The situation is this, Dan Thornton, a doctoral candidate in astrophysics at University of Manchester & Australia’s CSIRO has been collaborating with 19 colleagues from the US, UK, Italy, Germany and of course Australia at the Parkes radio telescope in Australia to try and discover the meaning of the Lorimer burst. (Duncan Lorimer – researcher who first discovered radio bursts from space).

In trying to research the discovered bursts more, the radio telescope was aimed very specifically and hence was able to clearly detect 4 separate bursts from that portion of the sky. Their research thus far has been able to prove that the Lorimer bursts not only exist but also that the bursts originate from somewhere really far off. The sender of these bursts, however, remains a mystery.

Scientists have no comment at this time, but Heino Falke & Luciano Rezzolla, two astrophysicists, have put forth the following hypothesis – that the radio bursts may be produced by the explosive demise of an exotic stellar explosion. Other physicists are working on other explanations, but at this time nothing is certain. So feel free to speculate!

A quick history on Radio-Astronomy: a radio engineer with Bell Labs, Karl Jansky, in 1932 discovered radio waves from outer space when investigating radio frequency interference. He, understandably, assumed that this steady “hiss” type static was extraterrestrial in origin. Eventually the first radio sky survey was conducted by Grote Reber and completed in 1941. Various stars in our system were found to be radio emmiters. The Sun, our nearest star, dominates galactic background noise. Another source in the radio spectrum is Supernovas. Supernovas emit synchrotron radiation and leave behind dense spinning neutron stars called pulsars.

For now, the source of these specific four signals has yet to be explained and that leaves the field totally open for interpretation.

No comments:

Post a Comment