What We Know About Fast Radio Bursts in Space

January 22, 2020
 

NASA

Earlier this month, astronomers announced that they had detected a repeating fast radio burst, or FRB, from a galaxy only half-a-billion light-years away. That may sound far, but in space terms, that’s closer than any of the previous bursts that have been observed. 

Scientists aren’t yet sure exactly what FRB’s are. Astronomers do know that they are extremely intense blasts of energy but they could be anything from a natural occurrence to a sign of life in other galaxies. 

David Leake retired this past summer after three decades at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium and from his work as a professor of astronomy and physics at Parkland College. Shane Larson also joined us. He is a professor of physics at Northwestern University and the Associate Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics joined us.