Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cosmic Radio Mystery

NASA scientists have discovered unexpectedly loud background radio noise (h/t DJ). The ARCADE (Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics and Diffuse Emission) system, a space-scraping giant balloon (see image), was searching for faint radio signals generated by heat from the universe's first stars but found a much louder, mysterious signal. Astronomers and astrophysicists are scrambling to explain the results.

(image credit: NASA/ARCADE/Roen Kelly)