This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


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.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile


  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.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text