Rogue Radio Burst Leads to Discovery of Billion-Year-Old Galaxy

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©2008 John P Warren

The detection of fast radio bursts, one of the universe’s most mysterious and rare occurrences, took place in early January of this year when signals from a dwarf galaxy over 2.5 billion light years away were first recorded.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are an incredibly rare phenomenon usually occurring in a millisecond or so, each containing energy amounts equivalent to almost 500 million of our Suns. While such a signal has only ever been recorded 18 times prior, it is suspected that ten thousand of these bursts could be sent each day.

Scientists have speculated neutron stars to be the source of these bursts, while some point to origins within our own galaxy.

For more information on past occurrences, read here.

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4 thoughts on “Rogue Radio Burst Leads to Discovery of Billion-Year-Old Galaxy

  1. That’s incredible to think about energy of that magnitude. I’m curious to know if there would be detrimental effects of this phenomenon if we were located relatively close to the source.

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    1. Considering it’s such a high energy burst it would be easy to say the effects are detrimental, but seeing as most of these signals have been travelling for hundreds of millions of years and are radio waves, the harm has probably been lessened in most cases. The signals originating from within our galaxy may be easier observed as far as effects go though

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  2. Your title states that the rogue burst led to the discovery of a galaxy, but you state in the second paragraph that the source of the bursts could have been within our own galaxy. Are you referring to the 18 previously recorded bursts as the ones that could have come within our galaxy and this 19th one was different? This is something I hadn’t read about before but is very neat!

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    1. Hi! I believe from the article one of the previously recorded bursts lent suspicion to the theory that there may be sources of these FRBs from within our own galaxy, whereas this specific recorded was in fact traced to a dwarf galaxy not previously known

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