Today's information age allows some astronomy to be done from a desktop. Projects like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey produce enormous databases. Sometimes, as was the case with WMAP, the data is jealously guarded so that the gatherers can impose their own interpretation. Ideally, all researchers are free to dig at their convenience. Sometimes mining old data can lead to a new discovery.
By searching archived data from 2001, radio astronomers have uncovered a powerful new type of radio burst. The original survey examined the Small Magellanic Cloud for repeating bursts of pulsars. The 2001 survey missed this burst, which lasted only 5 milliseconds. Because of its offset location, the burst is interpreted to come form far away, 3 billion light years. the discovery was reported in the September 27 issue of Science Express.
Source of this burst is still a mystery. Many scientists have theorised that intergalactic Space is full of unseen objects like Black Holes. Normally invisible, Black Holes would occasionally evaporate in brief bursts of radiation. The death of a Black Hole would look very much like this.
This week Carnival of Space looks at the art of Space.