Fifteen mysterious ‘Alien’ signals intercepted by experts have unleashed a scientific alert.
Breakthrough Listen, an initiative put together to find signs of intelligent life, has come across 15 short -but powerful radio pulses emanating from a mysterious and repetitive source in the Universe, prompting questions whether or not we are alone in the cosmos.
Experts have detected fifteen FRB’s signals.
Fast radio bursts are brief, extremely, bright pulses of radio emissions from a distant but largely unknown source, and FRB 121102 is the only known repetitive signal: more than 150 high-energy bursts have been observed from the object, identified last year as a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years from Earth.
So is it aliens?
Possible explanations for repeated fast radio bursts range from rotating neutron stars with extremely powerful magnetic fields – so-called magnetars – to a more speculative idea among experts: that they are directed energy sources, the result of powerful laser bursts used by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations to propel spacecraft.
This is the concept of Breakthrough Starshot, another signaling-like initiative, which aims to use powerful laser pulses to propel nano-spacecraft to the nearest star in our solar system, Proxima Centauri.
This is what Breakthrough Starshot, another signaling-like initiative, aims to use; powerful laser pulses to propel nano-spacecraft to the nearest star in our solar system, Proxima Centauri.
“The bursts coming from this source had never been observed at this high frequency,” Andrew Siemion, serving director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and Breakthrough Listen, said in a statement.
Siemion and his team alerted the astronomical community about high-frequency activity raising numerous questions among experts.
“As well as confirming that the source is in a newly active state, the high resolution of the data obtained by the Listen instrument will allow measurement of the properties of these mysterious bursts at a higher precision than ever possible before,” said Breakthrough Listen postdoctoral researcher Vishal Gajjar, who discovered the increased activity.
Detected for the first time with the Parkes telescope in Australia, rapid radio bursts have already been ‘observed’ by several radio telescopes around the world. FRB 121102 was discovered on November 2, 2012 (hence its name) and in 2015 the first rapid burst of repeated radio took place, discarding theories that involved the catastrophic destruction of the source, at least in this case.
FRB 121102 was discovered on November 2, 2012 (hence its name) and in 2015 the first rapid burst of repeated radio was spotted by experts, discarding theories of sources of bursts that involved the catastrophic destruction of its source, at least in this example.
Regardless of the ultimate source of FRB 121102, when the newly detected pulses left their home galaxy, our solar system was relatively young, having less than 2,000 million years, said Steve Croft, an astronomer at the Breakthrough Listen project at UC Berkeley.
Life on Earth consisted back then only of unicellular organisms; it would take around a billion years before even the simplest multicellular life began to evolve on our planet.
“Whether or not fast radio bursts are signatures of extraterrestrial technology, Breakthrough Listen is helping to push the frontiers of a new and rapidly growing area of our understanding of the universe around us,” Siemion said.
Check out this article titled: Could Fast Radio Bursts Be Powering Alien Probes? posted at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. (The paper reporting this work has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and is available online.)