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Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon

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posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 02:59 PM
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Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon


www.nrao.edu

"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.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.skyandtelescope.com




posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 02:59 PM
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I know there are some here who are familiar with this science, my apologies but some of the terms used in these reports have me reaching for the aspirin bottle.

I am posting it for those more in tune to this news.

www.nrao.edu
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


Hey, interesting article! Thanks! Let me try to simplify it for you


Basically they've no idea what exactly it is. The source appears to be beyond the Magellanic clouds (a pair of irregular galaxies orbiting our own galaxy). They estimated the radio burst to have left the source more than 200,000 years ago.

The first theory is that it it was a pair of colliding neutron stars, which are basically the embers that are left behind when a star goes nova. If the stars were any bigger, they leave behind a black hole instead. Anyway the problem with this theory is that based on past observations, when a pair of stellar embers collide, they produce a different burst of electromagnetic energy, one that's in the gamma-ray spectrum. So this may not be a pair of colliding neutron stars.

It should be noted that some neutron stars turn into pulsars, which give off a burst of radio wave in regular intervals. It's kind of like a celestial lighthouse. This event was irregular, though.

So the next theory is even wilder. They say it might be the last "gasp" of a black hole evaporating. Apparently black holes don't last forever. If it doesn't have anything more to suck in, eventually it will evaporate through the release of Hawking Radiation. I can't explain in simple terms what that is, because that goes into the realm of quantum physics which I myself don't really understand.

Still, very fascinating news.


[edit on 27-9-2007 by Beachcoma]



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 03:26 PM
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Here is the story from a more mainstream source:


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.

Source.


Interesting. Of course, no speculation that it could perhaps be from an intellegent source.

From your link:

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.


I see that no serious "expert" who is subject to peer review would suggest that this may be evidence of intelligence out there somewhere. I'm not saying it is, I'm saying it's possible. Why not at least concede that? I find it interesting that those who are looking to prove theories usually end up finding "evidence" which does just that.



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by Implosion
 


"one-and-a-half billion light years from earth"

I'm wondering how they can estimate the distance. It said the burst lasted 5 miliseconds. With that duration, they would have to triangulate the distance based on another location. That would be an incredibly narrow triangle. I think that the distance mentioned here could be way off. The only other way to calculate the distance that I know of would require a much longer duration.



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by Implosion
 


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?


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.


That's a hell of long way out. Was Q playing pool with neutron stars and black holes there?



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 03:38 PM
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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?


Sure, I understand your point, but all they have now is theory. No facts; "it could be this... it could be that...". My point is: it could be something else. That's the point we don't know.

Who the hell knows for certain what is out there? We send signals out, who is to say someone else isn't at it as well?

[edit on 27/9/07 by Implosion]



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 


Thanks for the laymans interpretation!

I read the article and it said the scientists were excited!

If the scientists are excited I figured some ATS members would be excited as well.

It will be interesting to see if they discover more occurances of this phenomena when they review their past data.



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by JacKatMtn
It will be interesting to see if they discover more occurances of this phenomena when they review their past data.


This sets a precedent, so I think we can expect more discoveries like this. This particular event was discovered by accident anyway; they were looking for new pulsars at first. So I'm guessing astronomers worldwide will start re-examining their data to see if they can find similar radio bursts to compare and try to shed light (haha.. if you get it..) on this incident.



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 


I hope they find other examples as well, isn't this the type of signal the SETI folks are looking for?

I know this was a strong signal but it's duration was so low I wonder if the SETI participants have the equipment to identify signals this short.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 05:16 AM
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reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


To my knowledge, SETI is looking for radio signals that show a clear indication of being artificial. I am not sure what criteria they use to determine if the signal is artificial. They do have the equipment to analyse short bursts like this, but I just checked their website and so far they haven't commented on this incident.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 07:33 AM
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Here is more articles on the radio burst in this one more events have been discovered but not as large:


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.....


A couple more:

Big Radio From the Stars

Deep space energy burst wows scientists


apc

posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 08:05 AM
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To play with the notion of an interstellar war...

Wasn't there a thread not too long ago about unexplained explosions either within or just beyond our galaxy? I can't find the thread but if I recall correctly the explosions were explained as most likely being supernova, however they were occurring at a much faster rate than expected. A bit closer than three billion light years though.

Just throwin' it out there.


[edit on 28-9-2007 by apc]



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 08:11 AM
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And the sky was full of stars , every star an exploding ship - one of ours.


i would be intersting if they start going over old data to se if similar occurances have occured elsewhere.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 10:15 AM
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The universe isn't old enough for any black hole created by a supernova to have lost enough mass through Hawking radiation to cease being a black hole. Although it's possible that there are micro black holes created by a different process that might exist and be old enough to have done so.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 10:50 AM
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the solar system is so cool.
i wish i knew everything about it



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by logicize
 

If they use the same technique as gamma ray bursts, they determine the distance by measuring the redshift in the visible light spectrum. This technique is widely used for most astronomical objects, because they can't do triangulation.


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



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