Science

See . . . This Area of Space Goes to 11

A team of astronomers has discovered a strange cosmic noise that is reportedly six times louder than any other noise they’ve ever detected in space.

The “roar”, as it has been described, is from the distant cosmos, and was detected with a balloon-borne instrument called ARCADE. The instrument flew for four hours at an altitude of 37 kilometers above Texas in July 2006, mapping a doughnut-shaped region that covered some 7% of the sky.

Reportedly, many older surrounding galaxies are upset about the noise. Calls reporting the racket have been flooding into Cosmic Police Headquarters for weeks. A police spokesperson said they’ve sent officers out to speak to the culprit on more than one occasion, but unfortunately, there are no noise ordinances in the region of space from which the roar originates, so there’s not much they can do.

The Milky Way galaxy said in a phone interview that it had no problem with the noise, but could see where others might be disturbed by it.

Another galaxy identifying itself only as “Murray” commented to his neighbor over the back fence, “What, we went through the turmoil following the Big Bang for this? Oy, the kids today with their loud radio signals.” He then covered his ears and spit in the direction of the cosmic noise.

Meanwhile back on Earth, Alan Kogut, leader of the balloon-borne experiment, says the loud radio signal seems to be coming from beyond the Milky Way. But astronomers don’t know the exact cause of the static, though the prevailing theory is that it comes from the universe’s first generation of stars.

In the early universe, there were stellar behemoths, hundreds of times more massive than the Sun. These very large stars died within the first billion years after the Big Bang, and collapsed into black holes, which may have spewed out jets of charged particles that produced radio emission.

At any rate, it’s an exciting new discovery, but will take time to analyse the signal thoroughly.

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

Related Articles

13 Comments

  1. LOL!

    Even more appropriate with your analogy is the fact that massive stars “live fast” and “die young”… just the type to be those noisy young whippersnappers.

    Now get off my galactic halo.

  2. I work for a code publishing company, I’ll see about whipping up some Cosmic Noise sample ordinances that should make Murray and the other complainants happy.

    (p.s., Skepchicks: my husband says you’re awesome. I think he’s enamored with the calendar mostly, but he appreciates going to 11 as much as the next guy)

  3. Youngsters and cops are the same everywhere. Young galaxies of all spectral types go racing through space playing their stereos way too loud, but the Cosmic Police only pull over and ticket the ones with a lot of dark matter.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Enjoy

Close
Close