Core antennas of CSIRO’s ASKAP radio telescope in Western Australia pointing at the Milky Way   Credit: CSIRO/Alex Cherney

NEWS BRIEFING: Uncovering the mystery behind the Universe's missing matter

Embargoed until: Publicly released:
Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

*BRIEFING RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE* Aussie astronomers have used mysterious fast radio bursts to solve a decades-old mystery of ‘missing matter’, long predicted to exist in the Universe but never detected—until now. The researchers were able to directly detect the missing matter using fast radio bursts - mysterious flashes of incredible energy that appear to come from random directions in deep space and last for just milliseconds. Scientists don’t yet know what causes them, but it must involve incredible energy, equivalent to the amount released by the Sun in 80 years. They have been difficult to detect as astronomers don’t know when and where to look for them. Join us for this online briefing as Aussie and international researchers talk about how they uncovered this missing matter - and why this matters.

Journal/conference: Nature

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2300-2

Organisation/s: International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Curtin University, CSIRO, Swinburne University of Technology, Macquarie University

Funder: Operation of ASKAP is funded by the Australian Government with support from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. ASKAP uses the resources of the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre. Establishment of ASKAP, the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre are initiatives of the Australian Government, with support from the Government of Western Australia and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund. Part of this work was performed on the OzSTAR national facility at Swinburne University of Technology. OzSTAR is funded by Swinburne University of Technology and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). See paper for full list of acknowledgements.

Media release

From: Australian Science Media Centre

Speakers:

  • Associate Professor Jean-Pierre Macquart is an astrophysicist at ICRAR/Curtin University
  • Professor Xavier Prochaska is an Astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Dr Keith Bannister is an Astronomer at CSIRO

Date: Wed 27 May 2020
Start Time: 11:00am AEST
Duration: Approx 45 min 
Venue: Online

Attachments:

  • International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)
    Web page
    Multimedia pack - videos, images and captions
  • International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)
    Web page
    ICRAR press page, including link to multimedia. Password: mystery
  • International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)
    Web page
    Mandarin version of video
  • Australian Science Media Centre
    Web page
    Full briefing recording
  • Australian Academy of Science
    Web page

News for:

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International
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Multimedia:

  • Missing Matter

    Astronomers have used a network of mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs) to detect half of the Universe’s normal matter, missing until now.

    File Size: 19.5 MB

    Attribution: ICRAR with some footage supplied by CSIRO/Alex Cherney, ESO/y. Beletsky and ESO/R. Wesson.

    Permission Category: © - Only use with this story

    Last Modified: 28 May 2020 1:10am

    Note: High resolution video files are only available for download here by registered journalists who are logged in.

  • Missing Matter - Mandarin

    Astronomers have used a network of mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs) to detect half of the Universe’s normal matter, missing until now.

    File Size: 19.6 MB

    Attribution: ICRAR with some footage supplied by CSIRO/Alex Cherney, ESO/y. Beletsky and ESO/R. Wesson.

    Permission Category: © - Only use with this story

    Last Modified: 28 May 2020 1:10am

    Note: High resolution video files are only available for download here by registered journalists who are logged in.

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