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Saturday, December 05, 2020

Alien or Elon Musk’s roadster? Mysterious radio waves in Milky Way has netizens playing the guessing game

Since they were first detected a little over a decade ago, astronomers have been puzzled to find the origin of powerful fast radio bursts (FRBs).

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | November 5, 2020 9:52:25 pm
Mysterious radio waves detected in Milky Way galaxy, nasa, nasa tweets, first fast radio burst, trending, indian expess, indian express newsThis image depicts a powerful X-ray burst erupting from a magnetar – a supermagnetized version of a stellar remnant known as a neutron star. (Chris Smith (USRA)/NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center via AP)

A mysterious blast of cosmic radio energy detected in the Milky Way galaxy has prompted a plethora of reactions on social media, with netizens coming up with their own theories behind it.

Since they were first detected a little over a decade ago, astronomers have been puzzled to find the origin of powerful fast radio bursts (FRBs) — intense flashes of radio emission that only last a few milliseconds.

Now, it is for the first time that astrophysicists have detected such blasts in our galaxy and have been able to trace it back to its potential source — “a small, spinning remnant from a collapsed star about 30,000 light-years from Earth”, according to a Guardian report.

“This is the most luminous radio burst ever detected in our galaxy,” Daniele Michilli, an astrophysicist at McGill University in Montreal told the news website.

On April 28 this year, multiple telescopes detected a weaker radio burst from the same area within our Milky Way. While the astronomers said that there could be other sources, they were unanimous that one source was magnetars — a type of neutron star.

The latest discovery, which was published in three papers in the journal Nature, was made by piecing together observations from space and ground-based telescopes.

The burst of cosmic radio waves has triggered various reactions among netizens, with some also sharing memes to express their views. Here, take a look:

(With inputs from AP)

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