According to Harvard’s Abraham Loeb, a respected astronomer:
“At the moment we do not have a smoking gun that clearly indicates the nature of FRBs. So all possibilities should be considered, including an artificial origin. A civilization might generate a powerful beam of light to propel cargos with a sail and we could observe the leakage of that radiation outside the boundaries of the sail.”
While Loeb, didn’t dismiss the potential that the radio bursts could be caused by aliens, he told CNET that the explanation could be much simpler:
“We observe periodicity in many astrophysical systems such as pairs of stars. Therefore, by itself—periodicity is not unusual enough to require an artificial origin. If we detected a Morse coded message, the data would have required a more creative interpretation.”
The “mystery radio signal” has been recorded as repeating based on a clear discernible pattern according to a paper by a team of astrophysicists in Canada that pinpointed the fast radio bursts that have an unprecedented 16-day cycle.
“The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object,” the team of scientists said in the paper.
A brief summary of some of the key findings are as follows:
Between September 16, 2018 and October 30, 2019, detected a pattern in bursts occurring every 16.35 days. Over the course of four days, the signal would release a burst or two each hour. Then, it would go silent for another 12 days.
…The signal is a known repeating fast radio burst, FRB 180916.J0158+65. Last year, the CHIME/FRB collaboration detected the sources of eight new repeating fast radio bursts, including this signal. The repeating signal was traced to a massive spiral galaxy around 500 million light-years away.
The team hopes to eventually trace the origin of the mysterious bursts and has even raised the question of alien life “reaching out” to establish contact.
Other analysts have suggested it’s the result of a binary system involving two massive stars orbiting each other. While Phys.org made a hypothesis that it could be “nothing more than the noise created when two stars collide.”
“Another possibility is that stellar winds might be alternately boosting or blocking signals from a body behind them. Or it could be that the source is a celestial body that is rotating,” Phys added.
While this certainly isn’t the first signal from space, it appears to be be the first continuous signal, according to scientists. Whatever the origin of the new signal may be, it will help scientists to better understand and map the universe. Whether it is aliens or just a normal space event, it is a significant discovery for mankind.
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