Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by on Thursday April 02 2015, @08:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the leave-a-message-after-the-beep dept.

BURSTS of radio waves flashing across the sky seem to follow a mathematical pattern. If the pattern is real, either some strange celestial physics is going on, or the bursts are artificial, produced by human – or alien – technology.

Telescopes have been picking up so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs) since 2001. They last just a few milliseconds and erupt with about as much energy as the sun releases in a month. Ten have been detected so far, most recently in 2014, when the Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, caught a burst in action for the first time. The others were found by sifting through data after the bursts had arrived at Earth. No one knows what causes them, but the brevity of the bursts means their source has to be small – hundreds of kilometers across at most – so they can't be from ordinary stars. And they seem to come from far outside the galaxy.

The weird part is that they all fit a pattern that doesn't match what we know about cosmic physics.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02 2015, @12:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02 2015, @12:29PM (#165798)

    Of course the amount of energy they release is based on the calculated distance. If they are actually satellite signals (distance of about 300km instead of 1.6 billion light years = 1.5 × 1022 km, a factor of 2 × 10-20), then according to the inverse square law, an energy of "one sun-month" (ca. 1033 J) suddenly reduces to an energy output of 2² × 1033 - 40 J, or 40 µJ. At 5 ms duration, this gives a power of about 40 µJ/5 ms = 8 mW. Not extraordinary large; rather quite small for a satellite. But then, if it's a secret spy satellite, maybe they intentionally made it weak so it isn't detected by standard receiving equipment.

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +4  
       Interesting=3, Informative=1, Total=4
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   4