Astronomers have not before seen fast radio bursts being emitted in such a pattern, and still do not know their origin.
Astronomers have detected alien signals – that’s, signals from a distant galaxy – being emitted in an extraordinarily regular 16-day cycle.
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) aren’t in and of themselves unusual – it was first was detected in 2007 – but previous observations have shown them to be mostly emitted randomly.
While there are some bursts which repeated, as astronomers discovered previously, they´ve never been seen repeating in such a gradual cycle.
The origin of FRBs hasn’t been established yet, although the dominant theories regarding them suggest the signals are produced by rapidly rotating bodies like neutron stars or black holes.
Researchers studying data from the radio telescope by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) found the FRB signals arrived on earth about up to twice an hour for four days before suddenly stopping, only to begin up again twelve days later. Advertisement
Its origin was located within a medium-sized galaxy about 500 million light-years away, making it the closest FRB discovered so far. The researchers observed its cycle for a complete of 409 days and believe that it might be tied to the emitting object being locked in an orbit which lasts 16 days.
However, they are saying that considering that FRBs are enormously powerful bursts of electromagnetic energy, they might be from a star – although if this was the case the star would be expected to wobble, and not display a similar and same kind of smooth cycle.
The researchers detailed their findings during a pre-print article published on arXiv, before receiving a review.
In 2017, Professor Avid Loeb, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the US, proposed that FRBs may well be leakage from planet-sized alien transmitters.
He said that instead of being designed for communication, they might more likely be of use to propel giant space ships powered by light sails, which might bounce the beams off a large reflective sheet to produce forward thrust.
There is currently no evidence supporting the hypothesis that FRBs are connected to alien civilizations