The Universe still has many misteries to reveal to us, secrets beyond our imagination. International astronomers found radio signals coming from beyond the Milky Way, exactly 11 billion light years away. The first burst detected was in 2007.
The astronomers are using the Parkes radio telescope in Australia. Dan Thornton from the University of Manchester, said “it´s a mystery what they are”, but “at least it is not a mystery that they exist.”
So far, the international scientific panel has been unable to positively determine where the signals are coming from; astronomers are studying the data so they can understand them better.
Something fascinating about the radio signals is that they are coming from distances in space when the Universe was only half its current age.
The first and second bursts were dispersed, although the second one was marginal leaving astronomers confused, however the last four bursts were also dispersed, meaning that they couldn´t have come from the Milky Way.
In total, astronomers have discovered four radio bursts. Scientists commented that approximately 10, 000 of them should cross our sky every day. Michael Kramer, director of the Max Planck Institute for Radios Astronomy commented, “If we could view the sky with radio eyes there would be flashes going off all over the sky every day”.
So far, the radio bursts neither originated from Earth, nor from a particular galaxy. Astronomer James Cordes said that the possible sources can go from evaporating black holes, supernovae, merging neutron stars or neutron stars with strange magnetic fields compared with other neutron stars could be the source of the signals.
Astronomer, James Cordes, suggests that the radio signals coming from beyond the Milky Way “could represent an entirely new class of source.”
Also, James Cordes suggested that the team needs to be cautions, because it took 20 years to developed and understand the sources of the gamma-ray bursts; just after they started hunting the phenomenon with special telescopes, only then they understood the source of the burst and its effects.
For now, the radio signals coming from beyond the Milky Way are a mystery, and that the astronomers need to better localize where they are coming from, what particular events occur in that region and do follow-ups with more sophisticated hardware.
Maybe if the mystery is unveiled, the radio signals will be categorized in the same family as pulsars, quasars, gamma ray-bursts and other blasts of cosmic energy.
By: Oskar Guzman
Reported from Mexico City