The number of fast radio bursts detected has doubled thanks to Aussie telescope.
The numbers of strange fast radio bursts that have been detected have doubled thanks to the CSIRO radio telescope in Western Australia. Scientists do not know what is sending the radio bursts; they are flashes of radio waves coming from deep space.
The Brightest and Closest Ever Fast Radio Bursts Have Been Discovered
With the aid of the telescopes in Australia, the team has found some of the brightest along with the closest fast radio bursts ever discovered. The bursts are coming from all over the sky lasting mere milliseconds and baffling scientists due to the fact that they involve huge amounts of energy. To put the amount of energy they use into perspective, it is around the same the Sun releases in 80 years.
Dr. Ryan Shannon from the Swinburne University of Technology along with OzGrav ARC Centre of Excellence said:
“We’ve found 20 fast radio bursts in a year, almost doubling the number detected worldwide since they were discovered in 2007. Using the new technology of the Australia Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), we’ve also proved that fast radio bursts are coming from the other side of the Universe rather than from our own galactic neighborhood.”
Fast Radio Bursts Travel for Billions of Years
Dr. Jean-Pierre Macquart from the Curtin University node of International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, is the co-author. According to Macquart, the radio bursts are able to travel for many billions of years, occasionally passing through gas clouds. He said:
“Each time this happens, the different wavelengths that make up a burst are slowed by different amounts. Eventually, the burst reaches Earth with its spread of wavelengths arriving at the telescope at slightly different times, like swimmers at a finish line. Timing the arrival of the different wavelengths tells us how much material the burst has traveled through on its journey. And because we’ve shown that fast radio bursts come from far away, we can use them to detect all the missing matter located in the space between galaxies–which is a really exciting discovery.”
The ASKAP is at the CSIRO Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. Following it will be the Square Kilometer Array telescope in the future. When it arrives the SKA would be able to see large numbers of the fast radio bursts, which would allow the astronomers to study the early Universe in great details.