Radio signals from space : Are aliens trying to talk to us?

This artwork shows a highlymagnetized rotating neutron star. Astronomers say one of these could be a source of the signals

This artwork shows a highlymagnetized rotating neutron star. Astronomers say one of these could be a source of the signals

With more data on fast radio bursts, including their sources and behavior, it's only a matter of time before astronomers and astrophysicists unravel their mystery. A total of 13 fast radio bursts were observed, but six of them were of particular interest: they all came from the same location. This is the second known documentation of a repeating FRB, whilst the last documented repeater was in 2012.

This sudden influx of tantalising clues has made astrophysicists nearly giddy. "Instead it uses digital signal processing to "point" the telescope and reconstruct where the radio waves are coming from", according to Kiyoshi Masui, an assistant professor at MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

CHIME was originally built as a tool to map hydrogen to figure out some questions on dark energy, but FRB hunters found the observatory's enormous field of view especially helpful for detecting the elusive radio signals.

CHIME has been fully operational since September. Ingrid stairs who is the member of CHIME Team have had an interview in which he said that till now there had been one repeated FRB and there are clearer confirmations that there would be more suggestions like there have been before out there.

I think we're all secretly hoping it's aliens, and some experts think that's worth considering. "Our data will break open some of the mysteries of FRBs".

These 13 FRBs, which include the repeater, were detected on a much lower frequency than had been detected before.

The flashes last only for a millisecond but they are ejected with the same level of energy the sun takes 12 months to produce.

Radio signals from space : Are aliens trying to talk to us?

A number of speculations have been made about what could be causing the radio bursts - with theories ranging from stars exploding to alien life, however, currently, there is little evidence to prove either.

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence", said Loeb in a statement after the publication of a previous paper in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. "We still have a sample size of only two". Scientists, however, believe that it's a large and powerful astrophysical object, such as a supermassive black hole, supernova or a quasar, which could be located in an area with "special characteristics". The scientists note that until now, there was only one known repeating FRB.

But that's just one of the riddles associated with this "fantastic phenomenon", said Tendulkar.

Repeating FRBs may be a rare finding, but they're even stranger than their single counterparts. The project wasn't yet living up to its full potential, suggesting that there are plenty more bursts to be discovered.

It's within the realm of possibility, he said, that there are several types of FRB, each created by a different kind of celestial cataclysm.

Wonderful - we're very much looking forward to that as well.

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