News That Matters

Tag: mystery

Fast radio bursts mystery 'close to being solved'

Fast radio bursts mystery 'close to being solved'

Technology
Astronomers are getting closer to solving one of the universe's biggest mysteries.Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are transient radio pulses that emit more energy in a single millisecond than the sun does all day.As many as 10,000 of them are thought to occur every day but so far astronomers have only spotted dozens and have struggled to pin down their origin.Fast radio bursts are extremely powerful but they are also very short, lasting only milliseconds.Making a researcher's task even more difficult, many of them only happen once.One, however, has been observed to repeat itself sporadically, allowing researchers to examine it more closely.FRB 121102 could have come from an extreme environment - "among the most highly-magnetised regions of space ever observed", researchers say in a report contain...
Light shed on mystery space radio pulses

Light shed on mystery space radio pulses

Science
Astronomers have shed more light on a mysterious source of recurring radio pulses from space.Fast radio bursts are one of the most persistent puzzles in astronomy; while usually short-lived, one source in the sky was sending out repeated flashes.Now, a team says the strange emission could be caused by a dead star with an exceptionally powerful magnetic field.Details were reported here at the 231st American Astronomical Society meeting.The first FRB was discovered in 2007, in archived data from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. Astronomers were searching for new examples of magnetised neutron stars called pulsars, but found a new phenomenon - a radio burst from 2001. Since then, 18 FRBs - also referred to as "flashes" or "sizzles" - have been found in total.But only one of these sour...
Analysis of Jupiter's auroras presents new mystery

Analysis of Jupiter's auroras presents new mystery

Science
Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A new analysis of Jupiter's auroras, the most powerful in the solar system, has revealed a fresh mystery."At Jupiter, the brightest auroras are caused by some kind of turbulent acceleration process that we do not understand very well," Barry Mauk, a researcher in the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, said in a news release.Measurements of Jupiter's auroras using particle detectors and ultraviolet spectrographs revealed extremely large electric potentials. When electric potentials on Jupiter's poles align with the gas giant's magnetic field, electrons stream through the upper atmosphere at at energies upwards of 400,000 electron volts.On Earth, large electric potentials are linked with the most intense auroras. Currents of a few thousand volts are asso...
Mystery smoke at Russian consulate as staff leave

Mystery smoke at Russian consulate as staff leave

World
Smoke was seen from the Russian consulate in San Francisco under orders to close by the Trump administration.Consulate staff spent Friday hastily loading items into a minivan, trying to clear things from the building before the Saturday deadline set by US President Donald Trump.The order to leave the consulate, which is Russia's oldest in the US, is the latest episode in the diplomatic stand-off between Washington DC and Moscow.Relations between the two have been troubled for some time over the Kremlin's policies towards Ukraine and Syria and, more recently, Russia has been accused of interfering in US elections.But it was the heavy smoke billowing from a chimney at the consulate that caught the attention of reporters, bystanders and the city's fire department.Image:Russian consulate staff...
'Frankenstein dinosaur' mystery solved

'Frankenstein dinosaur' mystery solved

Science
Scientists have solved the puzzle of the so-called "Frankenstein dinosaur", which seems to consist of body parts from unrelated species. A new study suggests that it is in fact the missing link between plant-eating dinosaurs, such as Stegosaurus, and carnivorous dinosaurs, like T. rex. The finding provides fresh insight on the evolution of the group of dinos known as the ornithischians. The study is published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Media playback is unsupported on your deviceMatthew Baron, a PhD student at Cambridge University, told BBC News that his assessment indicated that the Frankenstein dinosaur was one of the very first ornithischians, a group that included familiar beasts such as the horned Triceratops, and Stegosaurus which sported an array of bony plates al...