DR. SKY BLOG

Fast radio bursts make up the most powerful signals from space

May 12, 2021, 2:00 PM
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)...
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

One of the most amazing phenomena in astronomy is the mysterious burst of energy known as fast radio burst.

First detected in 2007, these millisecond pulses of intense energy were once thought to be background emissions from human sources, such as radar and microwave installations.

Recent research into the topic tends to agree that the source is of a cosmic nature.

One theory links these powerful broadcasts to alien civilizations deep in the heart of distant galaxies.

If that were true, the source of generating these amazing amounts of energy is hard for most humans to comprehend.

Just how powerful are these bursts?

If the burst was of the gamma-ray variety, a one-second burst releases more energy than our sun does in a billion years.

What might be the mechanism behind these bursts?

There is speculation that the energy mechanism might be the collision of two black holes, pulsar collapse, or a new variety of a highly charged magnetic star known as a magnetar.

These fast radio bursts have been detected only a few times.

The Molongo radio telescope in Australia has been searching the sky for more of these bursts. In one evening of observation, this radio telescope can capture well over 1,000 terabytes of data.

In comparison, all the data pages on Wikipedia contain some 5.87 terabytes of data.

This amazing data pool is then carefully searched for these faint millisecond pulses in the night.

Well, at least we know that the signals are not from the microwave oven down the hall!

Here are the sounds of a fast radio burst from space.

Recently, fast radio bursts have been detected which seem to repeat every 16 days or so.

Learn much more about the most recent discoveries regarding FRBs here.

A most recent discovery places a fast radio burst well within our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Up til now, FRBs have been detected in the higher radio frequency range. FRBs are also being detected at lower radio frequency ranges.

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.

Dr. Sky Blog

(Pixabay Photo)...
Steve Kates

Heads up! Atmospheric optics are around on a regular basis

The skies are full of amazing sights other than the stars, planets and distant celestial objects - we're talking atmospheric optics.
3 days ago
(NASA Photo)...
Steve Kates

Red letter days ahead in December as Mars moves closer to Earth

During the month of December, expect to hear a lot about Mars and how best to view it and learn about it.
10 days ago
(Pixabay Photos)...
Steve Kates

It’s not a Thanksgiving turkey in the sky – that’s Cygnus the Swan

Point a pair of binoculars toward the sky on Thanksgiving night and find the magnificent Cygnus the Swan constellation.
17 days ago
NASA's new moon rocket lifts off from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral,...
Steve Kates

Everything you need to know about NASA’s Artemis I rocket to the moon

The long-awaited launch of the NASA Artemis 1 moon rocket has finally happened!
24 days ago
This Crab Nebula mosaic image was taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA/ESA Image)...
Steve Kates

The magic of constellation Taurus includes open star clusters

As we move deeper into the skies of autumn, we come across the zodiac sign of Taurus the Bull.
1 month ago
(NASA Image)...
Steve Kates

Taurid meteor shower could bring in colorful fireball season in coming days

With Halloween behind us and the prospect of a new set of November events to look forward to in our skies, we present fireball season 2022!
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Fast radio bursts make up the most powerful signals from space