Scientists have identified a short sharp flash of radio waves coming from a baffling source which is nearly 5.5 billion light years away from our planet Earth.
The discovery of radio flash was spotted by the Australian scientists from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) at Parkes radio telescope in Australia.
The live burst was first detected by PhD student Emily Petroff of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. The burst lasted only milliseconds. The astronomers had discovered first such burst of radio in 2007.
The astronomers have detected six more bursts, apparently from outside the galaxy, with the help of Parkes telescope in New South Wales, while the seventh one has been discovered with the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico.
The international astronomers from across the globe have been struggling hard to find the correct explanation of the phenomenon.
“These bursts were generally discovered weeks, months or even more than a decade after they happened. We are the first to catch one in real time,” said Petroff.
Petroff was confident of spotting a “live” burst. She had an international astronomers’ team who would have made rapid follow-up observations about the live burst, at various wavelengths from radio to X-ray.
Soon after the Parkes telescope witnessed the burst go off, the team of astronomers rushed into action on twelve telescopes installed at different worldwide locations, including California, Australia, the Canary Islands, Hawaii, Germany, Chile and India. Along with several space based telescopes.
“We can rule out some ideas because no counterparts were seen in the optical, ultraviolet, infrared, or X-ray. However, the neat idea that we are seeing a neutron star imploding into a black hole remains a possibility,” said Simon Johnston, head of astrophysics at CSIRO.
Scientists said that one of the big mysteries of fast bursts of radio waves is their distance. The features of the radio signal suggest that the source of the new radio burst was up to 5.5 billion light-years away.