With headlines reminiscent of something out of a science fiction story, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center announced that they have recently received a mysterious roar of radio signals coming from an unexplained source, according to an article available at Space.com. The announcement was made at 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on January 7th. NASA scientists were researching for signs resonating in outer space of the original stars in the galaxy and were expecting only faint signals when, instead, they received a mysterious roar of radio waves emanating from space.
“Something new and interesting going on in the universe…the universe really threw us a curve,” team leader Alan Kogut stated in an announcement, “Instead of the faint signal we hoped to find, here was this booming noise six times louder than anyone had predicted.”
According to scienceblog.com, the readings were recorded by a NASA air-balloon instrument named ARCADE, Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Diffuse Emission. The posting goes on to explain that ARCADE receives and records the background radio static, a form of electromagnetic radiation, that permeates the universe and emanates from every celestial body. However, the radio waves that roared in recently were unaccountably high, and there simply aren’t enough galaxies in the direction ARCADE was looking to account for the signal.
NASA’s official website for ARCADE states that the unit is designed to measure the heating of the universe by stars as the universe transitioned out of dark matter into stars and galaxies following the big bang. The period before this transition is referred to as the “cosmic dark ages.” ARCADE measures the relatively small degrees the universe was heated by this period through distortions from a blackbody spectrum. The measuring device was borne up to the edges of our planets atmosphere through a scientific balloon that is part of NASA’s Balloon Program Office (BPO). BPO has sent a variety of devices into the outer reaches of our atmosphere since the program was founded in 1982.
As to the mystery roar itself, the source remains, for now, to be anyone’s guess. MSNBC reminds readers in an article on the story that the radio signals traveled at the speed of light from a region far, far from Earth and thus represent an earlier period in the universe’s history.
“We really don’t know what it is,” said team member Michael Seiffert in an MSNBC article.