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William Bacon's SETI Fast Radio Bursts Page Index


Current status of the deep space network

This artist’s impression of the cosmic web, the filamentary structure that fills the entire Universe, being illuminated by FRBs. Credit: M. Weiss/CfA

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Thanks to Australia's Commonwealth Scientific Indutrial Research Orginazition (CSIRO)


CSIRO's (commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization) Parkes radio telescope in Australia spotted the first signs of a FRB (Fast Radio Burst) Follow-up observations identified its location and host galaxy, the first determination for an FRB. Credit: CSIRO

SETI@home: New SETI Perspectives article Richard M Lawn has posted another interesting article to the SETI Perspectives forum. This one is about the mysteries of Fast Radio Burst (aka FRBs) , possibly some of the most distant explosions ever seen.

Astronomers Observe Cosmic Fast Radio Burst in Real Time, Yet Mystery of Their Origin Deepense

A schematic illustration of the Parkes radio telescope receiving the polarised signal from the distant fast radio burst FRB 140514, the first one to be discovered by astronomers in real-time. Image Credit: Swinburne Astronomy Productions

Artist's impression shows three bright red flashes depicting fast radio bursts far beyond the Milky Way, appearing in the constellations Puppis and Hydra, above the Mongolo radio telescope in Australia.
Credit: James Josephides/Mike Dalley.

Gemini composite image of the field around FRB 121102, the only repeating FRB discovered so far.
Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF/NRC.

Here is the pdf on The BURST project will perform deep FRB searches with MOSTS's wide field-of-view and nearly constant single pulse searches of the radio sky.

Australian astronomers have been able to double the number of mysterious fast radio bursts
discovered so far

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) have become a major focus of research in the past decade. In radio astronomy, this phenomenon refers to transient radio pulses coming from distant cosmological sources, which typically last only a few milliseconds on average. Since the first event was detected in 2007 (the “Lorimer Burst”), thirty four FRBs have been observed, but scientists are still not sure what causes them.

Artist’s impression of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope observing ‘fast radio bursts’ in ‘fly’s eye mode’. Credit: OzGrav, Swinburne University of Technology.

A Fast Radio Burst has Finally Been Traced Back to its Source:
the Outskirts of a Galaxy 4 Billion Light-Years Away

Fast-Radio Bursts (FRBs) are one of the most puzzling phenomena facing astronomers today. Essentially, FRBs are brief radio emissions from distant astronomical sources whose cause remains unknown. In some cases, FRBs that have been detected that have been repeating, but most have been one-off events. And while repeating sources have been tracked back to their point of origin, no single events have ever been localized.

Bannister and his colleagues found the FRB using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), a network of 36 radio telescopes at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. They detected the burst on Sept. 24, 2018, which explains its name — FRB 180924. (The repeater FRB 121102 was first spotted in 2012, as you may now have surmised.)

CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, located at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. (Image credit: CSIRO/Dragonfly Media)

The models will get stronger and stronger as more and more FRBs are pinpointed using the methods pioneered by Bannister and his team. And there are other exciting implications of the find as well.

The models will get stronger and stronger as more and more FRBs are pinpointed using the methods pioneered by Bannister and his team. And there are other exciting implications of the find as well.

What Are Fast Radio Bursts? A Big Mystery in Astronomy

Here's a big mystery in astronomy: fast radio bursts. Brief shrieks of radio waves coming from space. What are they? Where do they come from? Astronomers have no idea. Sponsored by the .space domain name. Go to and use the code "GUIDETOSPACE" to get a domain for $2.99. Sign up to my weekly email newsletter: Support us at:Support us at: : More stories at Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Google+ - Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com /Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001

FRB 150807

“This FRB, like others detected, is thought to originate from outside of Earth’s own Milky Way galaxy,” says Shannon, “which means their signal has travelled over many hundreds of millions of light years, through a medium that – while invisible to our eyes – can be turbulent and affected by magnetic fields. It is amazing how these very few milliseconds of data can tell how weak the magnetic field is along the travelled path and how the medium is as turbulent as predicted.”

mage: The radio pulse FRB 150807. The colour shows the frequency of the waves, which is like the colour of light. The brightness varies with frequency due to a process termed “scintillation”, which is caused by the twinkling of the burst in the cosmic web. This scintillation is the fingerprint of turbulence in the cosmic web and tells us that web is very placid. Credit: Dr Vikram Ravi/Caltech and Dr Ryan Shannon/ICRAR-Curtin/CSIRO.

Using FRBs as cosmological probes has been made difficult by the uncertainty about their origins, which is why FRB 150807 is so helpful — we can reconstruct its path. The archival images the team is using show three stars and six galaxies that are possible sites (see image below). The brightest galaxy is between 1 and 2 gigaparsecs away — roughly between 3.3 and 6.6 billion light years. The other galaxies are fainter than this object by factors of 6 and more, and all are thought to be more than 500 Mpc (1.6 billion light years) distant. This assumes, of course, that we can associate the burst with a star or a galaxy.

Image: The location of the FRB 150807. The yellow circle shows the typical location of an FRB. There are thousands of stars and galaxies in this direction. Because the burst was very bright researchers were able to locate it to a small region near the edge of that circle, shown as the pink banana-shaped region in the inset. In this region there are only 6 detected galaxies. The position of the most likely host galaxy, VHS7, is highlighted on the plot. Credit: Dr Vikram Ravi/Caltech and Dr Ryan Shannon/ICRAR-Curtin/CSIRO.


Mysterious, Ancient Radio Signals Keep Pelting Earth. Astronomers Designed an AI to Hunt Them Down.

An animation shows the random appearance of fast radio bursts (FRBs) across the sky. Astronomers have discovered about 85 since 2007, and pinpointed two of them. (Image: © NRAO Outreach/T. Jarrett (IPAC/Caltech); B. Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF))

Articles on fast radio burts

The magnetic field and turbulence of the cosmic web measured using a brilliant fast radio burst

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Some Observatories observing Fast Radio Bursts

The Gemini South Telescope in Chile. Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Manuel Paredes



The Very Large Telescope

The four Unit Telescopes that make up the ESO’s Very Large Telescope, at the Paranal Observatory Image: By ESO/H.H.Heyer/Wikimedia Commons

The Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder Radio Telescope Article on Fast Radio Bursts

The Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder Radio Telescope Website

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