Jul 18, 2017

Astronomers can't explain unique radio waves

Astronomers are trying to explain highly unusual radio waves detected from a nearby red dwarf star.

What happened: This past spring, Astronomers at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico observed high-frequency radio wave pulses at a rate "unlike anything they had ever observed before" coming from star Ross 128, which is about 11 light years away.

These are a few of the possible explanations, per the Atlantic:

  • Solar flares, but: red dwarf flares "occur at much lower frequencies and travel in different directions than what was seen around Ross 128."
  • Crossing radio signals from another object in the "telescope's field of view," but: astronomers haven't seen anything to suggest that.
  • Passing satellites, but: astronomers "have never seen satellites release signals of this nature."
  • Interaction with an orbiting planet, but: "no planets have ben discovered around Ross 128."
  • Radio frequency interference, but: astronomers don't think that's likely.
  • Aliens, but: that's the least likely possibility.

Go deeper

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings. He announced the measure, effective Friday, as coronavirus case numbers increased to 39,342.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan is preparing a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion, or about 40% of the country's gross domestic product, Reuters first reported Tuesday night.

Zoom in: The new measure will be funded by government bonds and will include "a raft of loan guarantees and private sector contributions," per Bloomberg.