A mysterious radio signal emitted from another galaxy



Signal source is estimated at about 5.5 billion light-years from Earth, outside our galaxy …

A “fast radio burst,” whose source is distant about 5.5 billion light years, was captured live for the first time by scientists. These Australian astrophysicists have received this signal on the radio telescope Parkes Observatory, located 400 km west of Sydney (became famous in July 1969 when he received the transmitted images of the first steps on the Moon).

It was in 2007 that scientists from CSIRO, the Australian equivalent of the CNRS, discover pours the first time this type of “fast radio burst” in the recordings of their telescopes. But they had never captured live. This is done since 14 May. These Australian researchers have had the opportunity to observe these bursts of very short wave radio, but very powerful for a few milliseconds.

The explosion of a star?

And if the first estimates about their origin point in the direction of the constellation of Aquarius, the cause of these signals remains mysterious, although several explanations are advanced. “The radio burst could be due to the explosion of a neutron star so gigantic that it would have caused the appearance of a black hole.This is a very exciting event, “said Simon Johnston, CSIRO. “It could have cleared much energy in milliseconds that the Sun product in 24 hours,” says Mansi Kasliwal, an astrophysicist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, a member of the scientific team. 

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