Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Alien radio signal detected


A mysterious radio signal was detected by astronomers using the Parkes Radio Telescope in New South Wales Australia.

Brief signals like this one, known as Fast Radio Bursts, are a relatively new phenomenon. And scientists have been unable to determine the origin of these strange signals.

The first occurrence of a Fast Radio Burst was discovered in 2007 when astronomers looked through archival data from the Parkes Radio Telescope. Six more bursts have reportedly been discovered in the data from the Parkes Radio Telescope, and one burst was discovered in the data from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. But, until recently, one of these short flashes of radio waves had not been observed in real-time.

Parkes Radio Telescope. (Credit: Stephen West/Wikimedia Commons)  

Parkes Radio Telescope. (Credit: Stephen West/Wikimedia Commons).

A team of astronomers in Australia, led by Emily Petroff, developed a technique to search for Fast Radio Bursts. And this new technique paid off on May 14, 2014 when a Fast Radio Burst was observed in real-time for the first time. Being aware of the signal as it was detected enabled researchers to alert other telescopes around the world. With twelve telescopes investigating the signal, scientists were able to scan multiple wavelengths. But ScienceDaily explains, “Even though they captured the radio wave burst while it was happening and could immediately make follow-up observations at other wavelengths ranging from infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light and X-ray waves, they found nothing.”

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