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The most distant fast radio burst detected to date

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Nov19,2023

The rapid radio burst furthest detected to date

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Artistic illustration (not to scale) illustrating the trajectory of the fast radio burst, from the distant galaxy where it originated to Earth, in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way.


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A rapid radio burst (SRR ) detected on June 10 comes from a galaxy so distant that its light took 8 billion years to reach Earth, show observations carried out using the European Observatory's Very Large Telescope austral (ESO) located in Chile.

At the time, the Universe was less than half its current age.

SRRs are short pulses of waves radio, very energetic, but also very brief (they only last a few milliseconds). was detected this summer using the ASKAP radio telescope located in Australia, but its exact source remained to be clarified. Work published in the journal Science(New window) (in English) show that it comes from a galaxy within a small group of merging galaxies.

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Artistic representation of a gamma-ray burst.

The astronomer Stuart Ryder of Macquarie University, Australia, says it is the most distant SRR ever detected. In fact, it shattered the previous distance record also set by our team by 50%, notes the lead author of the work.

This burst is also one of the most energetic ever observed since in a tiny fraction of a second, it emitted the equivalent of the total emission from the Sun in 30 years. SRRs release on average as much energy in a millisecond as the Sun does in 10,000 years.

Although we still don't know what causes these huge bursts of energy, our paper confirms that SRRs are common events in the cosmos and that we can use them to detect matter between galaxies and better pin down structure. of the Universe, says Professor Ryan Shannon of Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

So, according to the Australian team, the SRR makes it possible to weigh the Universe in a way.

Currently, techniques for estimating the mass of the Universe give contradictory results and even call into question the standard model of cosmology.

If we count the amount of normal matter in the Universe – the atoms of which we are all made – we find that x27;more than half of what should be there today is missing.

A quote from Ryan Shannon, Swinburne University of Technology

We think the missing matter is hiding in the space between galaxies, but may be so hot and diffuse that it's hidden in space between galaxies. it is impossible to see it with usual techniques, continues the professor, who indicates that the SRRs detect this ionized matter.

Even in an almost perfectly empty space, they [the SRRs] can "see" all electrons, which allows us to measure the amount of matter between galaxies.

A quote from Ryan Shannon, Swinburne University of Technology

Australian astronomer Jean-Pierre Macquart, who died in 2020, claimed that the further away a fast radio burst is, the more it reveals diffuse gas between galaxies.

Our measurements confirm that the Macquart relation is valid beyond half of the known Universe, indicates Stuart Ryder.

Two instruments for observing the Universe, currently under construction in South Africa (One Square Kilometer Array) and Chile (European Giant Telescope), will make it possible to study even more precisely the SRRs and to detect some of them even more distant which cannot be detected with current installations.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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