UFO Buster Radio News – 378: FRBs Getting Closer, China Space Station, and Hunt for Planet 9

Manny/ June 3, 2020/ From Manny

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Four ‘Mysterious Signals From Outer Space’ Are Coming From Galaxies Like Ours, Say Scientists
Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2020/06/03/four-mysterious-signals-from-outer-space-are-coming-from-galaxies-like-ours-say-scientists/#1c8e5ff37d76

Compress all that energy into a single burst lasting a mere millisecond and you’ll understand why fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the hottest topics in astronomy.

First discovered in 2007 at Australia’s Parkes radio telescope, FRBs are very brief, very bright single radio pulses that can last for several milliseconds. It’s estimated that several thousand per day are occurring over the entire sky.

The most famous one is FRB 121102, unusual because it’s been detected a few hundred times since it first “burst” onto the scene in 2014. FRB 121102 is coming from a small dwarf galaxy about three billion light-years from Earth.

Well, it’s not black holes, according to Dr. Shivani Bhandari, an astronomer with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, whose new research published this week in The Astrophysical Journal Letters reveals that four FRBs are coming not from the heart of galaxies, but from their edge.

“These precisely localised fast radio bursts came from the outskirts of their home galaxies, removing the possibility that they have anything to do with supermassive black holes,” said Dr. Bhandari. Her team found the exact location of four new fast radio bursts—FRB 180924, FRB 181112, FRB 190102 and FRB 190608—by zooming-in on the radio sky using a detector on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope in outback Western Australia.

The findings brings astronomers a step closer to understanding the origins of these mysterious signals from outer space.

China outlines ambitious plan to build space station in orbit
Link: https://www.axios.com/china-space-station-56b71c1e-a6f6-4c69-b74e-2975f3e335d1.html

China has an ambitious new plan to build a space station in orbit by 2023.

Why it matters: The U.S. sees China as a rival in space, so any large undertaking like this one will be watched closely.

The space station also represents the evolution of China’s space program, which made use of two smaller test stations in orbit that hosted crew before moving on to this more complex design.
Details: China plans to launch the first module of its new space station next year, with a total of 11 launches needed to complete the station by 2023, according to a report from SpaceNews.

The station is expected to eventually play host to crews of three astronauts aboard for six months who can perform experiments and other activities from orbit.

It’s also possible the crewed SpaceX launch could influence the burgeoning commercial space sector in China, according to Cheng.

“The Chinese are worried, not about Elon Musk per se, but they recognize that companies can do entrepreneurship way better than state-owned enterprises,” Cheng said.

Is ‘Planet Nine’ Actually A Black Hole In The Solar System? There’s Only One Way To Find Out
Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2020/06/03/is-planet-nine-actually-a-black-hole-in-the-solar-system-theres-only-one-way-to-find-out/#1ef87517ef40

Planet Nine is hypothesized to follow an elliptical orbit around the Sun. It would take the planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make one full orbit around the Sun. The planet is estimated to have 5 to 10 times the mass of Earth and a radius of 2 to 4 times Earth’s.

Is there a “Planet Nine” lurking at the fringes of the solar system? Or could it be something a whole lot more scary—a primordial black hole?
A new paper by Harvard University undergraduate Amir Siraj and theoretical astrophysicist Avi Loeb (he Mysterious Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua) suggests that a new telescope currently being constructed in Chile could hold the key to discovering whether there is, in fact, a black hole located in our own solar system.
Why do some think that Planet Nine could be a black hole?
“Planet Nine” being a black hole is very unlikely, but no more so than “Planet Nine” existing at all, according to Siraj and Loeb. “If it exists and is not a statistical fluke, ‘Planet Nine’ is most likely a planet, not a black hole,” said lead author Siraj in an email to me last week. “There is no unambiguous evidence showing that black holes exist that are less massive than the about mass of the Sun.”
However, another recent paper showed that the probability of the solar system capturing a free-floating planet at the distance of Planet Nine could be comparable to the probability of gravitationally capturing a black hole with a similar mass.
What is the Rubin Observatory?
The paper suggests that the Rubin Observatory—which is now in an advanced state of construction close to the Gemini South telescope—will be able to confirm the existence, or not, of a black hole in the solar system.
The Rubin Observatory is all about wide-angle, real-time astronomy. Its 10-year “Legacy Survey of Space and Time” (LSST) survey of the sky will image the entire southern hemisphere night sky every three nights, with each image covering an area 40 times the size of the full Moon.

How to find black hole in the solar system
“The LSST will be unique in its ability to survey the entire sky about twice per week at a remarkable level of sensitivity,” said Siraj. “We calculated that the flares from the accretion of a small body onto a ‘Planet Nine’ black hole would be brightest near the optical band, where LSST operates.”

However, there is one small problem with hunting a black hole. SpaceX Starlink and other upcoming mega-constellations of satellites are said to be particularly problematic for the Rubin Observatory’s plans to survey the night sky.

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