- A team of astronomers in Australia developed a technique to search for these ‘Fast Radio Bursts’, so they could look for the bursts in real time. The technique worked and now a group of astronomers have succeeded in observing the first ‘live’ burst, with the characteristics of the event indicated that the source of the burst was up to 5.5 billion light years from Earth.
- “We found out what it wasn’t. The burst could have hurled out as much energy in a few milliseconds as the Sun does in an entire day. But the fact that we did not see light in other wavelengths eliminates a number of astronomical phenomena that are associated with violent events such as gamma-ray bursts from exploding stars and supernovae, which were otherwise candidates for the burst.”
- But the burst left another clue. The Parkes detection system captured the polarisation of the light. Polarisation is the direction in which electromagnetic waves oscillate and they can be linearly or circularly polarised. The signal from the radio wave burst was more than 20 percent circularly polarised and it suggests that there is a magnetic field in the vicinity.
Astronomers observe fast unknown radio bursts from space
1. 19. 15 by Alex Klokus