Astronomers Detect Powerful Radio Waves from a Galaxy 8 Billion Light-Years Away
Canberra, October 20 – Astronomers from Swinburne University in Australia have observed an incredibly intense flow of radio waves originating from a distant galaxy, which took a staggering 8 billion light-years to reach Earth. This discovery holds the potential to unravel the mysteries of this cosmic phenomenon.
The scientists explained that the fast radio burst is a burst of electromagnetic waves lasting less than a fraction of a millisecond, and it was captured by the Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope. It was revealed that this burst emanated from a galaxy much farther than the sources of previously recorded fast radio bursts, crossing 8 billion light-years – a time when the universe was less than half its current age.
Ryan Shannon, an astrophysicist and co-author of the study from the University, expressed his astonishment, saying, “The fact that the telescope located in Western Australia was able to detect these fast radio bursts is truly remarkable.”
He continued, “We were able to monitor this tiny speck in the sky for less than a fraction of a millisecond after the burst traveled 8 billion years to be observed. This new radio burst shattered previous records, as it released an extraordinary amount of energy in less than a fraction of a millisecond, equivalent to what the Sun emits in 30 years.”
The scientists further explained that these fast radio bursts detected by the Australian telescope carry the signature of excess matter. However, it still requires the recording of a significant number of radio waves to improve calculations related to the missing matter.
These radio waves could potentially shed light on another mystery: the amount of solid matter in the universe, believed to represent about 5% of the cosmos, with the remainder consisting of dark matter and dark energy. However, the challenge lies in the fact that more than half of this 5% of solid matter remains elusive.
Scientists suspect that it resides within the cosmic web, a network of thin gas filaments connecting galaxies to one another, but it is so diffuse that it remains imperceptible to telescopes. This gas, in reality, leads to changes in the wavelength of fast radio bursts.
This groundbreaking discovery opens up new avenues for studying the universe’s most enigmatic phenomena, promising to reveal more about the universe’s structure and the distribution of its matter.