They call me a God
- Nov 2, 2015
Broadcasting from Deep Space, a Mysterious Series of Radio SignalsSomething is happening out there, and astronomers sure wish they knew what it was.
For the last several years, they have been teased and baffled by mysterious bursts of radio waves from the distant universe: pops of low-frequency radiation, emitting more energy than the sun does in a day, that occur randomly and disappear immediately. Nobody knows when these “fast radio bursts,” or F.R.B.s, will occur, or where exactly in the cosmos they are occurring.
More than 60 of these surprise broadcasts have been recorded so far. About the only thing astronomers agree on is that these signals probably are not extraterrestrials saying hello.
So it was big news a year ago when scientists found a repeating radio burster and tracked it to a dwarf galaxy 3 billion light-years from Earth. Subsequent observations suggested that the burst was generated by extremely powerful magnetic fields, most likely ruling out lasers from alien spaceships.
Now a group of astronomers from Harvard and several Canadian universities have announced the discovery of a second radio repeater. The repeating bursts appeared last summer almost as soon as the team turned on and began tuning up a new telescope, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or Chime, in British Columbia. The team announced the discovery in a pair of papers in Nature, and in a news conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle on Jan. 9.
The astronomers estimated that the new repeater is about 1.5 billion light-years away, roughly half the distance to the other repeater. The existence of a second repeater suggests that there are many more to be found, said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia, in a news release.
I find the idea of repeating signals to be fascination, it suggests to me that perhaps these signals are artificial and not natural. Sadly those who made the signals are most likely dead now due to the time it has taken for the signals to be detected, but I believe we are now close to discovering other life out there. I pray and hope we discover intelligent life in my lifetime, (Providing they are friendly!).