Astronomers recently announced a new discovery: a mysterious signal from a galaxy 3 billion light-years away. This intense burst of radio waves was one of the dozens of similar signals, totally random and totally unexplained. Under a solid West Virginia sky, this radio telescope searches the universe. It’s untroubled by the clouds because what it sees are radio waves, falling all around us like the rain.
“There’s a whole invisible universe out there that we can’t see with our eyes,” explains Green Bank Staff Scientist Ryan Lynch. “The visible light’s a very, very small part of what astronomers look at,” says Karen O’Neil, the Director of the Green Bank Observatory. “And I think that’s something that’s often not appreciated.” And as they searched the skies for the signatures of colliding stars and black holes, they found a spike in radio waves. CONTINUE