Friday, September 28, 2007

A bright millisecond radio burst of extragalactic origin

D. R. Lorimer, M. Bailes, M. A. McLaughlin, D. J. Narkevic, F. Crawford
(Submitted on 27 Sep 2007)
Abstract: Pulsar surveys offer one of the few opportunities to monitor even a small fraction (~0.00001) of the radio sky for impulsive burst-like events with millisecond durations. In analysis of archival survey data, we have discovered a 30-Jy dispersed burst of duration <5 ms located three degrees from the Small Magellanic Cloud. The burst properties argue against a physical association with our Galaxy or the Small Magellanic Cloud. Current models for the free electron content in the Universe imply a distance to the burst of <1 Gpc No further bursts are seen in 90-hr of additional observations, implying that it was a singular event such as a supernova or coalescence of relativistic objects. Hundreds of similar events could occur every day and act as insightful cosmological probes.

A bright millisecond radio burst of extragalactic origin

A pulsar is thought to be a rotating neutron star.

The Small Magellanic Cloud is a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way, it's visible in the Southern Hemisphere.

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