A milisecond sun: FRB image plot
(picture courtesy Royal Astronomical Society)
Source: Royal Astronomical Society paper:
The Australian Parkes radio-telescope has picked up a (FRB) Fast Radio Burst signal from deep within our galaxy. Astronomers first realized they received a signal back in 2013 while looking through archival data from “The Dish”. A team of astronomers from Swinburne University let by PhD student Emily Petroff developed a technique to look for FRBs in real time and used the 64-metre radio-telescope to experiment.
Beginning of 2015 an event was captured by Parkes radio-telescope’s real-time transient pipeline. They recorded an 8-bit full-polarization data from two orthogonal linear feeds per beam, with 1024 frequency channels over 400 MHz of bandwidth from 1182 to 1582 MHz, and 64-micro-seconds time resolution.
The FRB is well outside the Milky Way, at 5.5 billion light-years’ distance and didn’t show up in infrared or UV spectra, so while it put out energy equivalent to the Sun’s daily output in a few milliseconds, what caused the radio signal burst is still a mystery. One thought is the source of the signal was close to a strong magnetic field of unknown causes.
This hasn’t been the first time astronomers have detected some type of radio signal from space. Pulsar stars or “Radio Stars” create a signal that can be detected and recorded. These types of signals are common to the source and are easily explained, but the signals that are not easily explained, are the ones we need to be aware of like, the “Wow” signal of 1977.
The Wow! Signal: (Wikipedia)
The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while he was working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of Ohio State University then located at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory in Delaware, Ohio. The signal bore the expected hallmarks of non-terrestrial and non-Solar System origin. It lasted for the full 72-second window that Big Ear was able to observe it, but has not been detected again. The signal has been the subject of significant media attention.
Amazed at how closely the signal matched the expected signature of an interstellar signal in the antenna used, Ehman circled the signal on the computer printout and wrote the comment “Wow!” on its side. This comment became the name of the signal.
Determining a precise location of the signal was very complicated due to the Big Ear telescope’s use of two feed horns to search for signals. Each feed horn was pointing to a slightly different direction in the sky following the Earth’s rotation. The “Wow” signal was detected in one of the horns but not the other, and the data was processed in such a way that it was impossible to determine which of the two horns detected the signal, thus what direction the signal came from.
There were two possible right ascension values they could look at.
Right ascension: The point on the celestial equator which rises with any celestial object as seen from the Earth’s equator, where the celestial equator intersects the horizon at a right angle.
Based on the two right ascensions from both horns from the telescope, the region of the sky the signal came from, lies in the constellation Sagittarius. Tau Sagittarii is the closest and easily visible star from that region.
Upon multiple efforts afterwards, another similar signal was never detected.
In 1984 a California nonprofit organization received the funding they needed from NASA to officially create the SETI Institute “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” a not-for-profit organization. They’re mission is: To explore, understand and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe, and to apply the knowledge gained to inspire and guide present and future generations.
SETI has been instrumental in today’s society, releasing and teaching the public about their work. With some easy research you can find all kinds of data not only about them, but also pertaining to radio signals being detected from space from other sources too! Some websites say these signals are unknown and of intelligent origin, but those claims can’t be fully verified. NASA has also been accused on multiple occasions of hiding information from the public about intelligent radio waves they’ve received; SETI has also been accused about hiding information from the public while using the very same public’s personal computers to help them find signals they supposedly feed to NASA.
In 2010 a CNN reporter talked about alien signals that were picked up, but the telecast was only aired once and never again. Is there a conspiracy to hide information from the public? I had originally heard one of the reasons CBS had fired news anchor woman Connie Chung in the 1980’s was due to an interview she did with George Magazine. The interviewer asked her how the news editor decides what topics air compared to ones that don’t? She replied, “There’s a list of topics we can’t talk about”. When I heard about this information at that time, I contacted George Magazine and was able to talk to one of its writers. He confirmed the possibility the rumor was true based on what she said in the article.
Today on the NPR website there’s an article, “Beware of Japanese Balloon Bombs”. The article talks about over 6000 balloon bombs launched from Japan in late 1944 towards the USA to wreak havoc on American soil. What I found interesting and find all the time is, how our government with-holds information from the public.
Direct quote from article:
All in all, the Japanese military probably launched 6,000 or more of the wicked weapons. Several hundred were spotted in the air or found on the ground in the U.S. To keep the Japanese from tracking the success of their treachery, the U.S. government asked American news organizations to refrain from reporting on the balloon bombs. So presumably, we may never know the extent of the damage.
(picture courtesy US Army Archives)
Hiding information from the Japanese, or withholding information from the American public? Shouldn’t Americans have been told there could be a possible threat floating and landing in their back yards that could kill them? What was the real reason the government withheld the information?
Actually during the mid 1940’s, there were multiple UFO sightings reported that pertained to the Japanese Balloon bombs. Unfortunately there were some casualties due to the balloons. In the spring of 1945, a pregnant woman and five children were killed by a 15-kilogram high-explosive anti-personal bomb from a crashed Japanese balloon on Gearhart Mountain near Bly, Oregon. Supposedly those were the only documented casualties, but if the media was told not to report them, how many other Americans died?
Note: Years ago when my children were younger and shorter than me, while on vacation we visited the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Manhattan Project exhibit there includes full size models of the atomic bombs, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. One exhibit was viewing an old black and white movie in which the Manhattan Project went into detail. In the movie the announcer brags about how the US government yanked certain words from being published in “any” journal or media that could be associated with the project. The movie talked about words such as, “atomic” and “plutonium” among some others, which were directly pulled from the famous “Buck Rogers” comic books! So basically the US Government was able to control what was printed and what was discussed through the media back then. How about now?
If you think conspiracy theories about hiding information from the public is bull, then all you have to do is look into the history of the US. Hiding information from the public is located everywhere not only in the USA, but other countries as well. Has been, and still is, every day.
So are we receiving radio signals from intelligent life outside this planet? Well as a UFO investigator I may be a little bias in my answer, what about yours?
-Royal Astronomical Society paper
– NPR website (Linton Weeks)