Is this radio signal a sign of aliens?

Is this radio signal a sign of aliens?

Scientists searching for fast radio bursts (FRBs) that some believe may be signals sent from aliens may be happening every second.

Far outside our Milky Way galaxy, something is causing repeating short bursts of radio waves to be released into space.

Astronomers' studying of FRBs can teach those who study more about where the bursts come from, and whether that region in its galaxy is home to turbulent gas. Incredibly, these radio waves originate from distant galaxies, travelling at high energies through the cosmos for literally billions of years. Some of the proposed candidates for FRB sources are magnetars (neutron stars with strong magnetic fields), merging neutron stars, and (among the fringe) undiscovered alien civilizations.

The results are published in two papers in the journal Nature.

"Good reported the first results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), a telescope that was originally created to explore the early Universe but has turned out to be ideal for detecting FRBs". CHIME is a partnership between the University of British Columbia, McGill University, the University of Toronto and the Canadian National Research Council's Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.

The repeating event - designated FRB 180814 - was one of a total of 13 bursts detected over a period of just three weeks during the summer of 2018, while CHIME was in its pre-commissioning phase.

"Fast Radio Burst", the detection of these low frequency signals provide a new clue to the astrophysical puzzle.

Over time, Stairs says researchers will hopefully be able to develop a "clearer picture" that could lead to figuring out what exactly is producing these radio waves.

CHIME reconstructs the image of the overhead sky by processing the radio signals recorded by over a thousand antennas. Most FRBs found are at frequencies near 1400 megahertz (MHz).

Chime Radio Telescope
These Fast Radio Bursts were detected during a period of just three weeks in the summer of 2018 using the CHIME radio telescope

"Different emission mechanisms expect that FRBs will be emitted within a certain range of radio frequencies, much like a light bulb can not emit X-rays or a microwave oven can not emit ultraviolet light", Tendulkar told Gizmodo.

The BBC reports that there are a number of theories about what could be causing the bursts. Fast radio bursts might actually be common - it's just that we're only just noticing them. The previous record of lowest-frequency FRB was of 700 megahertz. As the Earth rotates, the portion of the universe in that small sky section is visible to the telescope, which was designed specifically to monitor FRBs.

While a bunch of FRBs have been detected previously, this is only the second time one's been observed to repeat itself. It came six times from the same location, 1.5 billion light-years away. With a single exception that launches repeated fast radio bursts, the sources are never heard from again. With this new discovery, astronomers are now hopeful of finding even more repeaters. "Our data will break open some of the mysteries of FRBs". It was beginning to look like the lone example, FRB 121102, might be a freak object, but this suggests that it may simply be rare.

When faced with an enigma like this, the standard scientific mantra applies: we need more data.

"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB".

Another interesting point to keep in mind, according to Loeb, is that the first repeater exhibited an associated persistent radio source, whereas the new repeater did not.

"It is extremely, extremely unlikely", Tendulkar said.

But the things here are still the same mysterious as they had been before but there somehow are basic evidences which gives the idea about from where such explosions might have been coming from.

"We are very far from that yet", Ng said.

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