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Blog

It’s noisy up there

By Hamish Johnston

A few days ago I mentioned an ad campaign to make the public aware of how events in the far-off cosmos affect us here on Earth. One ad points out that the some of the snowy noise on the screen of a poorly-tuned television is actually “microwave afterglow from the origin of the universe”.

It seems, however, that the universe contains more static than expected — six times more “radio noise” according to a team of astrophysicists in the US.

NASA’s Alan Kogut and colleagues launched the balloon borne ARCADE radio telescope with the hope of detecting emissions from the first stars formed after the Big Bang. Instead they found a booming signal that they couldn’t pin down to early stars or other known radio sources — a genuine mystery.

The team announced their findings at the 213th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, going on this week in California.

The study of other types of cosmic noise has led to major breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe…so watch this space.

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3 comments

  1. doru coarna

    That noise having 10^14 – 10^15 Hz is the major dissipative electromagnetic field which generates and perpetual governs our Local Univers, see my book ‘Extended Physics: Subphysics’ for confirmation.
    Best Whishes.

  2. John Macfarlane

    This news item is rather misleading, in that it seems to cast doubt on the nature of the well-established Cosmic Microwave Background. Every undergraduate surely accepts the fact that the noise first detected by Jansky has been verified countless times in the millimetre-wavelength and infrared parts of the spectrum, and is attributable to the remnant ‘big bang” radiation at a temperature close to 2K. The significance of the ARCADE experiment was not made clear, insofar as the anomalies it uncovered were detected in a previously inaccessible long-wavelength region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  3. Michael Gmirkin

    And what of Eric Lerner’s assertion that we are in the midst of a fog of radio / microwaves absorbed / scattered by Birkeland currents in space plasma? Is it possible that this might be another clue in that direction?
    If there are electrodynamic “power lines” running through the plasma of space, might not this loud radio / microwave hum be an indicator?
    Just a thought.

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