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Scientists Propose Using Fast Radio Bursts To Chart Universe In 3D 27

hypnosec writes: Using redshifts, fast radio bursts and state of the art technology, researchers at University of British Columbia have proposed a new method of calculating distance between celestial objects, and mapping the cosmos in 3D. Published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the research describes the proposal to use fast radio bursts to calculate cosmological distances. Though only 10 or so of these FRBs have been detected so far, UBC scientists are of the opinion that thousands of these FRBs must be happening each day.
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Scientists Propose Using Fast Radio Bursts To Chart Universe In 3D

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  • by KatchooNJ ( 173554 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {617oohctaK}> on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @11:44AM (#50583141) Homepage

    What?! No love for my favorite sci-fi method of sending waves huge distances and through time? I refuse to be satisfied until my sci-fi fantasy is a reality!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    From TFA:

    as fast radio busts travel towards Earth, they spread out

  • Go look into the math of CAT scanning -- with enough bursts at enough angles, you might be able to do something similar, for even greater mapping potential.

    You're welcome.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In CAT scanning, you measure the density along multiple *intersecting* sightlines through the target medium. In this case, all your sightlines are radial from the earth, and none of them intersect. It's more akin to a conventional x-ray than to a CAT scan: you only get to see the target from a single direction, unless you want to schlep your telescope a few million light-years away to get another angle.

      Ironically, some of the maths of CAT scanning - in particular, the convolution kernels used for gridding

  • by Anonymous Coward
    From Wikipedia, Closely related to fast radio bursts are Perytons, dispersed pulses which share some of the same characteristics as FRBs, but are of terrestrial origin. Perytons were shown in April 2015 to be due to emissions from premature opening of microwave oven doors in the Parkes observatory cafeteria,[7] while FRBs remain as most likely high energy astrophysical sources.
  • Oh great. (Score:2, Funny)

    by funwithBSD ( 245349 )

    Why not just a hang a giant sign on the planet that says "EAT AT EARTH'S" for the aliens?

    • IT people must hide! Aliens will dig you out of your parent's basement and boil your kidneys for a nice caffeinated beverage.

    • I know you're being funny, but on a more serious note:

      No need. The friendly ones _already_ know about us.

      When First Contact happens by 2022~2024 the mass populous will (finally) be allowed to know about our progenitors.

    • AFAICT, the article is discussing receiving the fast radio bursts, not sending them.

  • I have been keeping an eye on FRB reports for the last year or so.
    It seems curious there is a lot of news about looking for them, but none detected past 05/14/14, or at least as last posted on wikipedia []

    Have the programs that detected them in the past been shut down? When do the new programs come online? Usually when there is a hot new science mystery, resources go up in the search not down. Why the dearth of detections? Only 11 since 2001, mostly in 2011 and 2012 (6 of the 11).

    • Typo in original post, none detected in over a year. 05/14/2014

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There are a couple of reasons for that, that don't involve the universe going quiet on us. The first is that there's a delay between the FRB being detected and the FRB being noticed: most of the FRBs on that list were found by trawling through archived data from years ago, using improved signal-processing techniques. The second is that there's a delay between the FRB being noticed and the FRB being published: the astronomers take a while to analyse it, measure its dispersion and spectrum, make sure it's r

  • say you wanted to chart the galaxies, with 100billion of those.. you'd still need something like 270000 years to get all of them right? without overlap?

    i'm not saying it's not useful, but you've got random sources, firing... like super sporadically.

    wouldn't it be like saying,

    "yeah, we've got this new method of mapping the earth.

    we'll read the geological signals put out by earthquakes to map the shape of the crust-mantle interface."

    while interesting, i'd doubt the usefulness of it in getting a complete pictu

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll