Fast radio bursts or radio waves originating from space have always been a mystery for scientists. The brightest fast radio burst signal so far was detected from Australia this month.
A team of researchers from the Parkes Observatory in Australia have recorded three fast radio burst signals. One of them was the brightest ever recorded, amazing scientists as to where these signals really come from.
The unusual radio signals registered on March 1, and a later one took place on March 11. The brightest signal was recorded on March 9.
Fast radio bursts are controversial because their origin remain unknown.
Scientists are not sure what is the real source of fast radio bursts. Theories of its origin range from colliding neutron stars to extraterrestrial spacecrafts.
What Are Fast Radio Bursts?
Radio burst signals were observed as early as 2001 from a pulsar survey of the Magellanic Clouds, but it was only in 2007 that researchers and scientists mentioned this unusual phenomenon in their studies.
That year, fast radio bursts were accidentally discovered by radio astronomer Duncan Lorimer of West Virginia University in Morgantown. They uncovered fast radio bursts by analyzing old observations of the 64-meter radio telescope in Parkes, Australia. The fast radio burst was dubbed as the "Lorimer Burst."
Due to the limited range of instruments used in observing and capturing fasts radio bursts, most of these signals that are believed to be coming from beyond the Milky Way are undetected.
Brightest Fast Radio Burst
This powerful radio signal lasts only milliseconds and flashes without warning. It can generate as much energy that is comparable to the energy emitted by millions of Suns.
The brightest fast radio burst observed was FRB 180309 that flashed on March 9. It has a signal-to-noise ratio of 411. The other two observed this month were named FRB 180301 and FRB 180311. Fast radio bursts are named based on the dates that they were recorded. The usual signal-to-noise ratio recorded previously range from 10 to 40, with the next brightest registered at 90.
Only a total of 33 fast radio bursts from different sources have been observed so far in the last few decades. The FRB 121102 observed in November 2012 is said to be unique because it repeats. The rest of the FRB sources only flashed once, and then they just disappeared.
Parkes Radio Telescope
Parkes Observatory in Australia hosts the 64-meter Parkes radio telescope. This radio telescope has been in operation since 1961 and continues to be at the forefront of astronomical discovery. It operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.