Radio flash tracked to faraway galaxy
For the first time, scientists have tracked the source of a “fast radio burst” – a fleeting explosion of radio waves which, in this case, came from a galaxy six billion light-years away.
The cause of the big flash, only the seventeenth ever detected, remains a puzzle, but spotting a host galaxy is a key moment in the study of such bursts.
It also allowed the team to measure how much matter got in the way of the waves and thus to “weigh the Universe”.
Their findings are published in Nature.
Fast radio bursts last only milliseconds but in that moment, whatever makes them blasts as much energy into space – in the form of radio waves – as our Sun emits in days or even weeks.
To follow this particular signal home, an international team did rapid detective work with multiple telescopes and ultimately snapped an image of the source galaxy in visible light….. READ MORE
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