With the relentless volume of existence-threatening shit humans are forced to contend with as of late, the simultaneous influx of space-related news has offered frequent (and more than welcome) respite from the nightmare.
For the latest example of this, we turn to astronomers who recently shared (via the Nature peer-reviewed journal) that a radio signal has been detected boasting a sound pattern that’s been likened to that of a heartbeat.
Daniele Michilli—a study author and postdoctoral scholar at the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at MIT—spoke with USA Today this week about the findings and noted that the signal in question (an example of what’s referred to as a FRB, i.e. a fast radio burst) was shown to have a duration estimated to be roughly 1,000 times higher than the average observed in other signals.
Astronomers have detected a strange and persistent radio signal from a far-off galaxy that appears to be flashing with surprising regularity. The clear and periodic pattern of fast radio bursts may originate from a distant neutron star. https://t.co/bne5kXs2ad pic.twitter.com/wJPhOdrAQM
— Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (@MIT) July 15, 2022
In a release from the MIT News Office on Wednesday, it’s noted that this particular signal—formally known as FRB 20191221A—is believed to be the “longest-lasting” such burst in recorded history.
Moving forward, the aim is for astronomers to be able to detect additional signals from the source (which could be a far-off neutron star) to assist in a calculation of the continual expansion rate of our universe.
And in related news, let’s all keep looking up.
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