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Radio waves which emerged in the cosmos eight billion years ago detected now on Earth

Approximately eight billion years ago, an enigmatic event unfolded in a remote galaxy, unleashing an immensely powerful surge of radio waves that traversed the vast expanse of the universe.

After an arduous journey spanning eight billion years, these radio signals finally reached Earth on June 10, albeit fleetingly, lasting a mere fraction of a millisecond. Remarkably, amidst this fleeting moment, a radio telescope situated in Australia managed to intercept the elusive signal.

The transient burst, originating from a cosmic event eons ago, belongs to a class of phenomena known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), a phenomenon shrouded in mystery since its discovery in 2007.

Upon closer examination, astronomers discerned that this particular FRB surpassed its predecessors in both intensity and distance, emanating from a locale hitherto uncharted. Furthermore, analysis revealed that this cosmic phenomenon transpired during a bygone era, when the universe was but a fraction of its present age.

Despite decades of meticulous study, the elusive origins of FRBs continue to elude scientists, confounding our understanding of the cosmos and presenting one of astronomy’s most perplexing enigmas.

Various conjectures have surfaced in attempts to elucidate the genesis of FRBs, with some even positing extraterrestrial origins, echoing the sentiments of a Harvard University professor who entertained the notion of radio signals serving as potential indicators of alien civilizations.

However, among the myriad hypotheses, magnetars, the remnants of deceased stars endowed with unparalleled magnetic prowess, stand out as leading candidates, given their status as the most magnetized entities in existence.

Astrophysicist Ryan Shannon from Australia’s Swinburne University expressed astonishment at the serendipitous detection of the radio burst by the ASKAP radio telescope in Western Australia, describing the event as “mind-blowing.” He underscored the fortuitous alignment of circumstances that enabled the telescope to capture the elusive burst, emphasizing the ephemeral nature of the encounter.


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