Posted by Frank Nathan on Aug 25, 2019
What are they, you might well ask? Associate Professor Jean-Pierre Macquart explained what they are and the connection with Western Australia and the Square Kilometre Array in the Pilbara.
Associate Professor Jean-Pierre Macquart, a principal investigator of the detection and investigation of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) explained to a fascinated audience what they are. They have only recently been discovered and are now being investigated more closely using the SKA Pathfinder telescopes known as ASKAP. An FRB is a transient radio pulse and ASKAP has successfully located their precise origin. The first FRB was discovered by accident by the "Dish" at Parkes in NSW. The recent construction of 36 telescopes in the Murchison area of the Pilbara here in WA means ASKAP is at the forfront of FRB research, witnessing events that took place when the Universe was only half its current age. The FRBs are found in parts of the sky well outside our own Milky Way Galaxy. Jean-Pierre made an analogy with a Sherlock Holmes mystery, inasmuch as the exact origin is uncertain although they have been pinned down to the Dwarf Galaxy billions of light years away.