Scientists detect mysterious radio signals in space
No big deal... right?!
Astronomers have picked up a mysterious repeating signal coming from an unknown source in space.
The breakthrough is only the second time scientists have seen such a repeating radio burst.
Using a new, Canadian telescope dubbed CHIME, scientists identified the short, repeating burst in the summer of 2018 and published their results Wednesday in the journal Nature.
The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown.
"Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB," said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).
"Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there.
"And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles - where they're from and what causes them."
While scientists have detected more than 60 instances of fast radio bursts this is just the second known signal coming from the same location.
“Whatever the source of these radio waves is, it’s interesting to see how wide a range of frequencies it can produce. There are some models where intrinsically the source can’t produce anything below a certain frequency,” said Arun Naidu of McGill University.
Theories about the source of the signal range from a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field that is spinning very rapidly, two neutron stars merging together, and a small number have stated their belief it could be some form of alien spaceship.
"I can understand the public's imagination would go that way [aliens], but there are a lot of simpler explanations than extraterrestrial intelligence," Shriharsh Tendulkar, an astrophysicist at McGill University and study coauthor, said in an interview