Times Of India
NEW DELHI: An international team of researchers have detected mysterious bursts of radio waves originating from billions of light years away.
Six years ago, a single burst lasting less than a tenth of an eye blink had been reported. It was so ephemeral that scientists were unsure whether it actually took place or not. But this time round, the 64 metre Parkes radio telescope in Australia recorded 4 such bursts of very high energy radio waves coming from a very long distance.
The scientists also think that the findings suggest that there should be one of these signals going off every 10 seconds if the whole sky is observed through ‘radio eyes’, that is, through telescopes that detect radio waves.
The findings are reported on Friday in the journal Science. The research team was made up of scientists from the University of Manchester, the Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, and from various institutions in Australia, US and Italy.
The scientists studied the energy of these bursts and concluded that they originate from an extreme astrophysical event involving relativistic objects such as neutron stars or black holes. They ruled out terrestrial sources for the fast radio bursts and say their brightness and distance suggest they come from cosmological distances when the universe was just half its current age.
Study lead Dan Thornton of the University of Manchester and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, said the findings pointed to some extreme events involving large amounts of mass or energy as the source of the radio bursts, a statement from the university said.
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