Searching for distant signals

Searching for distant signals

A handful of fast radio bursts have astronomers puzzling over their origin, and looking for more

By Christopher Crockett, 17:10 PM July 22, 2014

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Duncan Lorimer wasn’t looking for an eruption of radio waves from another galaxy. He and his student David Narkevic were mining old data from Australia’s Parkes Radio Telescope for oddly behaving pulsars, the rapidly spinning cores of dead massive stars. Instead, they found a strange burst of radio noise recorded in 2001 that appeared to originate well beyond one of the satellite galaxies that orbit the Milky Way.

The signal was so intense that it briefly overwhelmed the te...

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