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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.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday April 02 2015, @02:42PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday April 02 2015, @02:42PM (#165838) Journal

    Maybe it has something to do with gravitational lensing: We are seeing the same event again and again, arriving at different times because different products of the event are taking different routes around a large gravity well. The mathematical patterns are due to the orbital rhythms of various bodies within the gravity well (binary / trinary system?)

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