Friday, May 31, 2024

Astronomers Spot Record-Breaking Radio Signal that Took 8 Billion Years to Reach Earth

Eight billion years ago, a significant event occurred in a distant galaxy, resulting in an extremely powerful burst of radio waves being sent across the universe.

This cosmic signal reached Earth on June 10 last year, and although it lasted for an incredibly short time, a radio telescope in Australia managed to detect it. These are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), a phenomenon astronomers first identified in 2007.

Astronomers recently revealed that this specific FRB was not only exceptionally powerful but also originated from a much greater distance than any previously recorded. It traveled a staggering eight billion light years, originating when the universe was less than half its current age.

The cause of FRBs remains one of the most significant mysteries in astronomy. Several theories have been proposed, including the intriguing possibility of them being signs of alien life, although scientists currently consider distant dead stars called magnetars as the leading suspects. Magnetars are the most magnetically powerful objects in the universe.

Ryan Shannon, an astrophysicist at Australia’s Swinburne University, expressed amazement that the ASKAP radio telescope in Western Australia detected this radio burst last year.

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