Many astronomers remained speechless at intercepting radio pulses while they were emitted from very remote locations. Of course, it wasn’t long until conspiracy theories started to emerge involving aliens.
Aliens or no aliens, those radio pulses might represent a gift from God Himself to help astronomers understand more about galaxies. Phys.org writes about new research indicating that astronomers might be able to take advantage of radio pulses to learn more about the gas that surrounds some galaxies.
474 FRBs were analyzed
Many FRB’s had been found until now, meaning fast radio bursts. Perhaps there are many more to come as well. Huge amounts of gas are responsible for the birth of galaxies themselves, so there’s no wonder why there’s a lot of that gas still surrounding such cosmic objects. To wrap our heads around it, here’s an analogy that Liam Connor makes, the lead author of the study, as Phys.org quotes:
These gaseous reservoirs are enormous. If the human eye could see the spherical halo that surrounds the nearby Andromeda galaxy, the halo would appear one thousand times larger than the moon.
As astronomers will be able to use an FRB method to determine how much material there is in the halos, they will be able to understand more about the evolution of the galaxies over a lot of time, perhaps even billions of years.
Vikram Ravi, a co-author of the new study, explains as the same source mentioned above quotes:
This is just the start,
As we discover more FRBs, our techniques can be applied to study individual halos of different sizes and in different environments, addressing the unsolved problem of how matter is distributed in the universe.
For the new research, astronomers analyzed data containing 474 FRBs that were found by CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment).
The new study was published in Nature Astronomy.