Astronomers, after many years, they have finally located the origin of the mysterious immense “fast radio bursts.”
A Fast Radio Burst (FRB) in just a tiny fraction of a second, can emit as much energy as the Sun radiates over 10,000 years!
Above: CSIRO’s Compact Array in Australia was one of a network of telescopes, that helped to measure the fast radio burst.
Astronomers pinpointed the location of this FRB, using multiple telescopes, to a galaxy six billion light years away.
Study co-author Simon Johnston, an astrophysicist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, said:
“Our discovery opens the way to working out what makes these bursts.
Essentially this lets us weigh the Universe, or at least the normal matter it contains.”
The characteristic sweeping signal of an FRB is shown in the closest inset. Credit David Kaplan & Evan Keane.
Astrophysicist Duncan Lorimer, whose team discovered the first FRB in 2007, explains:
“A large census of FRBs will not only add to our understanding of their population, but also map out the cosmic web in great detail, provide stringent tests of general relativity, and even yield new constraints on the nature of dark energy.”
According to the study just published in Nature:
“Every fast radio burst has a dispersion measurement, but none before now have had a redshift measurement, because of the difficulty in pinpointing their celestial coordinates. Here we report the discovery of a fast radio burst and the identification of a fading radio transient lasting ~6 days after the event, which we use to identify the host galaxy; we measure the galaxy’s redshift to be z = 0.492 ± 0.008.”