Are the repeating radio signals we are receiving, from aliens? Mysterious powerful exotic signals have been detected, from our biggest radio telescope, coming far beyond our own galaxy.
The signals spotted from astronomers by Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, the world’s largest radio telescope, must have come from a ‘very exotic object’.
Above: The artist’s impression above shows the short bursts of radio waves racing towards the dish from far beyond our Milky Way.
The fast radio bursts FRB 121102, spotted by an international team of astronomers, using the most sensitive radio telescope in the world, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.
According to the publication in the journal Nature: “these fast radio bursts may have another, more permanent origin.”
Dr Laura Spitler, lead author of the study at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, said:
“Not only did these bursts repeat, but their brightness and spectra also differ from those of other fast radio bursts.”
“If it happened four years ago and it’s happening again now, it’s not some star that collapsed or black holes that merged. This is probably a very young, very fast spinning magnetar, in some local-ish galaxy, that occasionally goes into semi-outbursty form.”
Professor Jason Hessels, an astronomer at the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, explains:
“Finding the host galaxy of this source is critical to understanding its properties.
Once we have precisely localised the repeater’s position on the sky, we will be able to compare observations from optical and X-ray telescopes and see if there is a galaxy there.”