A Mysterious Radio Signal Came From Outerspace and I'm So Excited

By Jeff Ayers — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

Space might be a vast blackness devoid of sound but we do get exciting emissions from deep corners of space every once in a while.  Recently, we (as in humans) received data from two different sources and only one was ours... cue *Twilight Zone* music. 

JUNO Mission Update:

The JUNO mission launched a spacecraft in August of 2011 to head to the planet Jupiter. IT arrived in orbit around the planet on July 4, 2016 and every 53 days it makes a close flyby of the gas giant.

December 16, 2017 was the tenth time that JUNO flew within 2200 miles of Jupiter and it transmitted pictures and data back to Earth. Those images have been colorized by civilian scientists and show the planet in amazing detail and awe-inspiring beauty.

We constantly are learning more and more about the largest planet in our solar system as JUNO continues to complete its mission goals.

This image of Jupiter was taken by Juno on December 16 and then processed by citizen scientist David Marriott. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / David Marriott.

[This image of Jupiter was taken by Juno on December 16 and then processed by citizen scientist David Marriott. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / David Marriott.]

A Mysterious Radio Signal From Space:

In 2017 researchers pinpointed the origin of FRB 121102, a fast radio burst from deep space that has repeated over 200 times. It seems to originate from a dwarf galaxy 3 billion light-years away.

This vast distance suggests that a massive amount of energy is in each burst, as much energy as the sun produces in a single day in a millisecond of a radio burst.

Astronomers are now figuring out that the signal is surrounded by a dense magnetic field which makes that radio signal have a polarized property to it.

"The nearly 100% polarization of the radio bursts is unusual and has only been seen in radio emissions from the extreme magnetic environments around massive black holes, such as those at the center of galaxies," said Dr. Jason Hessels of the Netherlands Institute of Radio Astronomy.

As more data is discovered within these radio bursts astronomers can make better predictions about what exactly is sending the radio signals and what the surrounding area might be like in the distant galaxy.

Check out more about these topics on the Science Segment on our show Fueled By Death Cast Episode 58.

Related: Here is the real reason coffee makes you poop

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