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posted by janrinok on Friday December 23 2016, @05:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the cue-little-green-men-stories dept.

A chatty source of radio waves from deep space has a little more to say. Six more blasts of radio energy, each lasting just a few milliseconds, erupted from some phenomenon outside of our galaxy, researchers report in the Dec. 20 Astrophysical Journal. This detection follows 11 previously recorded outbursts of radio waves from the same location, the only known repeater in a class of enigmatic eruptions known as fast radio bursts.

The origins of these radio bursts, 18 of which have been reported since 2007, are an ongoing puzzle ( ScienceNews: 8/9/14, p. 22 [paywalled] ). The continuing barrage from this repeating source, roughly 3 billion light-years away in the constellation Auriga, implies that whatever is causing some radio bursts is not a one-time destructive event such as a collision or explosion. Flares from a young neutron star, the dense core left behind after a massive star explodes, are a promising candidate.

The latest volley was detected in late 2015, Paul Scholz, a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues report. Five blasts were recorded at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and one at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. This object was first detected at Arecibo in 2012. Ten more blasts followed in May and June 2015 ( ScienceNews: 4/2/16, p. 12 ).


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Fast Radio Bursts Could be Caused by Pulsars Near Black Holes or Supernova Remnants 3 comments

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) may be caused by neutron stars (pulsars) experiencing unusual conditions, such as proximity to a black hole or a highly magnetized wind nebula:

The first FRB was discovered in 2007, in archived data from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. Astronomers were searching for new examples of magnetised neutron stars called pulsars, but found a new phenomenon - a radio burst from 2001. Since then, 18 FRBs - also referred to as "flashes" or "sizzles" - have been found in total.

The mystery surrounding their nature has spawned a variety of different possible explanations, from black holes to extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Only one of these sources of radio energy has erupted more than once - a so-called burster catalogued as FRB 121102. This FRB has sent out around 150 flashes since its discovery in 2012.

Now, in the journal Nature [DOI: 10.1038/nature25149] [DX], a team of scientists explains how the emission might come from a neutron star, perhaps one near a black hole or one embedded in a nebula.

Previously: More Fast Radio Bursts Detected from Same Location
15 Fast Radio Bursts Detected From Distant Galaxy


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @06:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @06:18PM (#445136)

    ET war using star-fueled weapons?

    Please don't let the Mid. East get a hold of those.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @06:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @06:21PM (#445137)

      Wow, those aliens need to find Jesus this Christmas.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @07:52PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @07:52PM (#445191)

        Jesus is on the internet now so they should be able to find him much easier. It's not like the old days when you had to wander through the desert.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @06:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @06:45PM (#445144)

      Maybe it's alien technopunk, if you downshift the frequencies into the human audible range.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @07:46PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @07:46PM (#445188)

        it's alien technopunk, if you downshift the frequencies into the human audible range

        I did that. Here's the translation:

        "Eat all the humans, ba-boom-cha, ba-boom-cha, Eat all the humans, ba-boom-cha, ba-boom-cha, Every last one one one, Ka-cha yum yum yum..."

        Catchy!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @07:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @07:11PM (#445158)

    You will be assimilated.

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Friday December 23 2016, @07:26PM

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 23 2016, @07:26PM (#445175)

    The aurigators had a healthy civilization, then somebody went to replace a working init system, they did not recover.

    • (Score: 2) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Friday December 23 2016, @08:06PM

      by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Friday December 23 2016, @08:06PM (#445194)

      You mean they tried to replace squishy organic bodies with mind uploads on silicon?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @09:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23 2016, @09:36PM (#445234)

        Just wait and see...

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 24 2016, @01:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 24 2016, @01:15AM (#445337)

        Lennart Poettering is the 3 billion year old bringer of the technological Apocalypse.

        They were trying to warn us before he got here, but they were a few years too late :)