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Australian radio telescope finds rare 'fast radio burst' just four days after being switched on!

Just four days after it began its search, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope has detected a set of rare radio waves known as ‘fast radio bursts’ coming from the constellation Leo. These elusive signals last just a few milliseconds, and are thought to originate billions of light-years away – but, scientists don’t yet know what causes them. Researchers have likened the powerful instrument, near Murchison in Western Australia, to the fictional dark overlord Sauron, the ‘all-seeing eye’ of the Lord of the Rings series, and they say it could soon be spotting new FRBs every few days. Just four days after it began its search, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope has detected a set of rare radio waves known as ‘fast radio bursts’ coming from the constellation Leo. These elusive signals last just a few milliseconds, and are thought to originate billions of light-years away – but, scientists don’t yet know what causes them Just four days after it began its search, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope has detected a set of rare radio waves known as ‘fast radio bursts’ coming from the constellation Leo. These elusive signals last just a few milliseconds, and are thought to originate billions of light-years away – but, scientists don’t yet know what causes them. The team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Curtin University, and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) discovered the new burst using just eight of the telescope’s dishes. The instrument is equipped with 36 dishes in total, which can be used either to look at one point of the sky, or be pointed in different directions to like the segments of a fly’s eye, according to CSIRO. Using eight dishes, the instrument can see 240 square degrees all at once. The new burst, dubbed FRB170107, was extremely bright, the researchers say, making it easy to spot. And, by using additional dishes, the researchers say they’ll be able to find others as well.

Read More: Daily Mail Online

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