NEW fast radio bursts detected by astronomers from over 4 billion light years away 

NEW radio signals detected by astronomers from over 4 billion light years away 

NEW radio signals detected by astronomers from over 4 billion light years away  Image: Vchal

Researchers in the Netherlands have announced that five new fast radio bursts have been detected after an upgrade was done to the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope 

Astronomers in the Netherlands have detected five new fast radio bursts (FRB) which they claim originated from over 4 billion light years away.  

The discovery of the FRBs was done by researchers after equipment was upgraded at the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope.  

FRBs are “flashes of light” that are registered on the “radio band of the electromagnetic spectrum, that appear temporarily and randomly in space”, as per Mail Online.

These intense radio waves typically last from a few milliseconds, and researchers said that “As they travelled to Earth through space, three of these FRBs pierced our neighbouring Triangulum Galaxy, a spiral galaxy about 2.73 million light years away”.  

The details of the new FRBs being detected were revealed in a new paper prepared by an international team, which was led by Joeri van Leeuwen at the University of Amsterdam.  

Researchers said that the discovery was made in 2019, but was only now revealed to the public through the paper. 

The first of the FRBs was “heard” by the radio telescopes in 2001, but had not been discovered until 2007 when the data was analysed by scientists.  

The paper which was published in Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics  states that “Fast radio bursts (FRBs) must be powered by uniquely energetic emission mechanisms”.  

“We discovered five new FRBs, a significant addition to the approximately 100 published at the time”, it added.  

Scientists speculate that the source of these FRBs could be from a neutron star, but they also suggest that it could be “artificial signals created by intelligent beings”.  

According to Professor Avi Loeb at the institute, “artificial origin of these signals is worth contemplating”. 

Experts state that a single FRB contains “10 trillion times the annual energy consumption of the entire world population”, and the “flashes are so powerful that radio telescopes can detect them from more than four billion light-years away”.  

But the main difficulty studying FRBs is that now one can predict when and where the next one is going to occur.


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Written by

Imran Khan

A journalist, content professional, and former TEDx Speaker based in Tarragona (Spain), with a Master's in International Journalism (Cardiff, UK). Imran is an online reporter for The Euro Weekly News and covers international as well as Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at