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Scientists spot weird radio burst 3 billion light-years away

Posted on Wednesday, October 03 2007 @ 05:05:18 CEST by

Astronomers have found a new and intense type of radio burst, Space.com reports:
The single, short-lived blast of radio waves likely occurred some 3 billion light-years from Earth, and it may signal a cosmic car crash of two neutron stars, the death throes of a black holeā€”or something else.

"This is something that's completely unprecedented," said Duncan Lorimer, an astrophysicist at West Virginia University in Morgantown and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory who led the discovery-making team. He noted that radio-emitting pulsars send out similar emissions, but repeat them every few hours.

"We're confused and excited, but it could open up a whole new research field," Lorimer told SPACE.com of the 5-millisecond blip on the cosmic radar screen. "If we really go after these things, we expect to find out that a couple hundred of them occur each day."



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