Farthest Ever Fast Radio Burst Traveled 8 billion Light years To Get To Earth

Astronomers just received short and rapid bursts of radio waves which traveled billions of light years from distant galaxies to arrive on Earth. The fast radio burst emitted in one millisecond the same amount of energy as the Sun generates over several weeks. Scientists were amazed by this discovery as they had never seen anything like this before.

How Astronomers Detected Fast Radio Burst that Took Eight Billion Years To Arrive Earth

Astronomers recently announced that they have spotted the most remote fast radio burst (FRB) which lasted for less than a millisecond. The researchers used the ASKAP radio telescope in Australia to record the FRB as it flies past Earth.

For years now, astronomers have been able to determine the origin of distant FRB using The Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Hence, they were able to tell where this distant FRB (named FRB 20220610A) came from. The VLT traced the FRB 20220610A to be coming from a galaxy so far away that its light traveled for about eight billion to arrive on Earth.

Astronomers revealed that this FRB stands out as one of the most powerful FRBs ever recorded by observatories on Earth. In just a fraction of a second, it released the same amount of Earth that could take our Sun about 30 years to emit.

“Using ASKAP’s array of dishes, we were able to determine precisely where the burst came from. Then we used [ESO’s VLT] in Chile to search for the source galaxy, finding it to be older and further away than any other FRB source found to date and likely within a small group of merging galaxies,” said Stuart Ryder, an astronomer from Macquarie University in Australia and the co-lead author of the study, in an official statement.

How Fast Radio Burst has been Helping Astronomers to find Hidden Matter

Astronomers who carried out this study reveal that distant FRBs often help researchers to find hidden matters that exist between galaxies. This discovery offers a new approach to weighing the Universe. Late Australian astronomer Jean-Pierre (‘J-P’) Macquart has already demonstrated this hypothesis in 2020.

“J-P showed that the further away a fast radio burst is, the more diffuse gas it reveals between the galaxies. This is now known as the Macquart relation. Some recent fast radio bursts appeared to break this relationship. Our measurements confirm the Macquart relation holds out to beyond half the known Universe,” explained Ryder.

The researchers highlight that the missing matter may possibly hid in intergalactic space. It could also be possible that our current observatories are not powerful enough to detect it. However, the FRBs may likely accommodate the ionized material.

“Even in space that is nearly perfectly empty they can ‘see’ all the electrons, and that allows us to measure how much stuff is between the galaxies,” said Ryan Shannon, a professor at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

The research suggests that fast radio bursts are prevalent occurrences in the Universe. Even though astronomers are not so sure about the exact origins of these rapid bursts, the emissions produced by the FRB in a period of one millisecond still amazes them.

Next Advanced Steps To Detect The Origin of These FRBs

Advanced astronomical facilities that will soon be in use would help scientists detect the precise origins of strange FRBs like this one. The future advanced facilities include the Square Kilometre Array Observatory and the Extremely Large Telescope. 

ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope is currently undergoing the development stage in the Chilean Atacama Desert. Once completed, it will be one of the few selected telescopes with the capability of detecting the source of galaxies of distant FRBs like the FRB 20220610A.

The team published the new study in the journal Science.


Astronomers recently received short and rapid bursts of radio waves which traveled billions of light years from distant galaxies to arrive on Earth. Even though they could not tell the exact origin of the FRB, they were amazed by the powerful emission it produced within a single second.

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