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New Australian Telescope Could Solve the FRB Mystery

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A newly-activated telescope in Australia could be the key to solving the mystery of fast radio busts coming from space.

The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) managed to detect one of the enigmatic pulses in a mere four days after the site became operational.

Even more astonishing, considering that only about two dozen FRBs have ever been documented, is that the telescope subsequently detected two more pulses after their initial observation.

Making the insights even more promising is that the bursts were picked up using just a quarter of the telescope's 36 dishes.

Researchers credit the discovery to a unique method of observation where astronomers dispersed the directions that the dishes were pointed which allowed them to see a far greater area of space.

Looking ahead, an official at the telescope predicted to PhysOrg that "we can expect to find one every two days when we use 12 dishes, our standard number at present."

By that measure, ASKAP could double the amount of FRBs ever discovered in a little over a month.

And, astronomers hope, as more data is collected on the mysterious pulses, scientists may finally be able to determine their source, which some believe could be an extraterrestrial origin.

Coast Insiders can learn more about the puzzling FRB phenomenon by checking out Linda Moulton Howe's 3/30/2017 appearance on the program.

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Source: PhysOrg


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