A new article by Catherine Griffin in the Science World Report relays information on a single burst of radio emission of unknown origin detected six years ago outside our galaxy:
In order to find these radio waves, the researchers used the CSIRO Parkes 64 meter radio telescope in Australia. This allowed them to detect the waves and find out a little bit more about them. More specifically, they were able to locate four more bursts, removing any doubt of their existence. Lasting for just a few milliseconds, the furthest burst was detected about 11 billion light-years away.
“The bursts last only a tenth of the blink of an eye,” said Michael Kramer, Max-Planck Institute Director, in a news release. “With current telescopes we need to be lucky to look at the right spot at the right time. But if we could view the sky with ‘radio eyes’ there would be flashes going off all over the sky every day.” In fact, researchers believe that it’s possible that these bursts could be going off every 10 seconds.
The burst energetics of the waves indicated that they probably originated from an extreme astrophysical event involving relativistic objects such as neutron stars or black holes. It’s likely that they’re associated with some kind of extreme event involving large amounts of mass or energy. That said, researchers still can’t say with certainty exactly what might have caused the radio waves.