Feeds

Mystery radio bursts from the depths of the universe

Black holes collide?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Astronomers searching the skies for pulsars instead found a mysterious burst of radio activity, nothing like anything any of them had seen before.

According to Reuters, the researchers were trawling through a back catalogue of data from the Parkes telescope in Australia when they came across the signal. It was five milliseconds long and might be the calling card of a single, highly energetic event such as a supernova, the team said.

Although the burst was very brief, it was very strong. The team tracked it back to a point of origin roughly three billion light years away.

Little green men are categorically ruled out: the burst is far too powerful, according to Maura McLaughlin of West Virginia University. "We think it has got to be some sort of catastrophic event happening in another galaxy - like two stars colliding and merging, or maybe a black hole. Something kind of exotic," she said.

McLaughlin speculated that many more of these bursts could be happening everyday, but because radio telescopes typically survey a very narrow field of the sky, we could just be missing them.

The work is published in the journal Science. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that PONG? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.