HomeAstronomySpace roar: The mystery of the loudest sound in the universe

Space roar: The mystery of the loudest sound in the universe

In space, nobody can hear you scream, but with the right equipment, it is possible to detect a roar. That’s what scientists discovered back in 2006 when they began to look for distant signals in the universe using a complex instrument fixed to a huge balloon that was sent to space. The instrument was able to pick up radio waves from the heat of distant stars, but what came through that year was nothing short of astounding.

As the instrument listened from a height of about 23 miles (37 kilometers), it picked up a signal that was six times louder than expected by cosmologists. Because it was too loud to be early stars and far greater than the predicted combined radio emission from distant galaxies, the powerful signal caused great puzzlement. And scientists still don’t know what is causing it, even today. What’s more, it could hamper efforts to search for signals from the first stars that formed after the Big Bang.

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