Parkes radio telescope in Australia has been picking up on faint mysterious unidentified bursts of energy since 2001. They have been dubbed FRB (Fast Radio Bursts). More unusual is that no other telescope in the world has seen these bursts. Until one year ago…
For a while scientists and astronomers just thought their telescope was broken with these bursts being glitches within the telescopes electronics. But the scary thing now is that 12 years later another telescope on the other side of the planet as picked up the exact same transmissions…
If you’re unsure what radio transmissions are the video below with help you understand!
In Puerto Rico these FRB’s have now been detected too, this tells us that it isn’t a fluke anymore. That there is a real possibility of something out there, but the more mysterious part here is that astronomers have absolutely no idea what’s causing them.
In today’s world we know more about the sky than we do about our oceans so finding something we cannot explain in the sky raises some curiously.
Now before we jump to aliens we need the facts, as there have been theories made as to where these signals are coming from, with scientists scrambling for answers to a question they have never encountered before, some of them speculating:
“Are emitting from a black hole? Or solar flares by nearby stars? Lightning storms? Or technical glitches in the sensitive hardware?”
The first astronomer who recorded the FRBs — they could even be “signatures from extra-terrestrial civilizations”. But no one really know what’s makes these FRB’s and why, with the first FRB being discovered in 2001 by a small team of astrophysicists led by Duncan Lorimer was looking though some archival data from the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia.
On the night of August 24 2001 a five-milisecond burst of radio waves was detected from a labelled dead patch of the sky, hitting the telescope for such a short period of time it was almost undetectable.
Very lucky finding this burst Lorimer and his staff an began to analyse what it was, and they dud to for the next couple of years, but without any further data on the burst it was hard for them to analyse and understand it properly without anything to compare it to.
However that all changed in 2013
In 2013 another astrophysics team got the go ahead to analyse a full years’ worth of data from the Parkes telescope. As they were looking though the data they stumbled across the same unidentified FRBs.
This was a major breakthrough in FRB research as scientists now had two completely unique sets of data form two totally different places in the world. This only confirmed that the FRB was not a fluke or a glitch and would need further investigation.
“Something out there in depths of our galaxy was emitting something we had never seen before”
Due to the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico — almost 10,000 miles away from Parkes and also detecting the same thing some 13 years later it has reignited the curiously to find out what they are.
In the 2013 Parkes study which was able to find four of these busts while looking at a tiny patch in the sky for a year suggests to scientists that they are more common than we think. We also know that the FRB is extremely bright, and that this amount of light suggests only a few likely origins of the FRB.
Possible examinations into the origins of FRB have led the teams to gamma ray bursts or possibly magnetars – which are special type of neutron star that can release as much energy our sun releases in 300,000 years in a millisecond.
However we just don’t fully know where they are coming from, so our next steps here are to cross reference to signals to get an idea of where in the galaxy they are coming from.
A word has also been put out onto other radio telescopes all around the world to find more information about these signals with future telescopes having their whole purpose set just to investigate the FRBs
Lorimer, speaking to Scientific American, says,
“It’s not very often in astronomy that you get completely new classes of objects coming along, especially ones as strange as these. We are witnessing the birth of an entirely new area of research.”
Have a great day guys!