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"This burst appears to have originated from the distant Universe and may have been produced by an exotic event such as the collision of two neutron stars or the death throes of an evaporating black hole," said Duncan Lorimer, Assistant Professor of Physics at West Virginia University (WVU) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The research team led by Lorimer consists of Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University in Australia, Maura McLaughlin of WVU and NRAO, David Narkevic of WVU, and Fronefield Crawford of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The astronomers announced their findings in the September 27 issue of the online journal Science Express.
Scientists discover deep space signal
A team of American astronomers has detected a huge burst of radio energy from deep space while using the Parkes radio telescope in NSW.
The huge burst of energy, which has startled scientists with its strength, is thought to have originated over 500 mega-parsecs or one-and-a-half billion light years from earth...
"Normally the kind of cosmic activity we're looking for at this distance would be very faint but this was so bright that it saturated the equipment," he said in a statement.
The burst of energy, which lasted for only five milliseconds, was so strong that when it was first detected six years ago it was dismissed as man-made interference.
Although the nature of the mysterious new object is unclear, the astronomers have some ideas of what may cause such a burst. One idea is that it may be part of the energy released when a pair of superdense neutron stars collide and merge. Such an event is thought by some scientists to be the cause of one type of gamma-ray burst, but the only radio emission seen so far from these has been from the long-lived "afterglow" that follows the original burst.
Another, more exotic, candidate is a burst of energy from an evaporating black hole. Black holes, concentrations of mass so dense that not even light can escape their powerful gravity, can lose mass and energy through a process proposed by famed British physicist Stephen Hawking. The newly-discovered radio burst, the researchers said, might be the "last gasp" of a black hole as it finally evaporates completely.
The burst of radio waves was strong by astronomical standards, but lasted less than five milliseconds. The signal was spread out, with higher frequencies arriving at the telescope before the lower frequencies. This effect, called dispersion, is caused by the signal passing through ionized gas in interstellar and intergalactic space. The amount of this dispersion, the astronomers said, indicates that the signal likely originated about three billion light-years from Earth.
Originally posted by Beachcoma
If it were intelligent life it would have been really scary powerful. Not saying it's impossible that it was from intelligent life, but do you know how much power is required to send a burst that intense?
That's a hell of long way out. Was Q playing pool with neutron stars and black holes there?
Originally posted by JacKatMtn
It will be interesting to see if they discover more occurances of this phenomena when they review their past data.
Massive radio burst from beyond Milky Way puzzles astronomers
...The team is now scouring other archived data to see if any bursts were accidentally caught during observations of other objects.
Though they claim to have already found a few candidate bursts, none are as bright as this event.....
By examining the wavelengths of specific spectra features present in the light form the variable source, the scientists were able to determine the distance to the source object. The GRB host was found to lie at a redshift of at least 0.8, or several billion light years from earth, over one half way across the observable universe.
Solving the mystery of gamma-ray bursts