Stories tagged energy burst

Sep
29
2007

A terrifying burst of cosmic energy: JGordon not pictured.  (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
A terrifying burst of cosmic energy: JGordon not pictured. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Scientists have recently reported observing a massive, and as of yet unexplained, burst of radio energy from across the universe. At the time of the event, I was probably in the shower, or watching TV, and, in either case, too far from my radio telescope to see what was happening.

Researchers say that the burst was unlike anything seen before, coming from at least one and a half billion light years away, and giving off as much energy as a large power station running for two billion years. I guess I have to take the scientists' word for it, although that seems like an awful lot of energy for me to miss. The event lasted for only five milliseconds, though, so it seems possible that it could have slipped my notice.

"The burst may have been produced by an exotic event such as the collision of two neutron stars or be the last gasp of a black hole as it evaporates completely," says Professor Duncan Lorimer of the University of West Virginia. Based on my own knowledge of cosmic events, I'd say it's equally likely that the energy burst came from a galactic scale conflict between, say, Thanos and Adam Warlock, or the utter destruction of a planet, as observed in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. However, I can't yet say either way for sure.

Scientists believe it's possible, however peculiar it may seem, that similar events may be occurring several times a day. The difficulty in actually spotting one just comes from the sky being so big, a fact that I can confidently confirm.