A high-powered telescope detected hundreds of unexplained radio bursts in outer space, leaving scientists looking beyond the Milky Way for answers.
Over a 12-month period between 2018 and 2019, more than 500 rapid radio bursts (FRBs) were observed by scientists using an antenna-powered telescope called CHIME, or the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment. findings presented on Wednesday For the American Astronomical Society.
FRBs are intense high-energy radio wave pulses that can last only a fraction of a millisecond, and are believed to travel to Earth from hundreds of millions of light-years away.
The phenomenon is not fully understood, and according to international researchers, FRBs were only discovered in 2007.
“Before Chime, the total FRBs discovered were less than 100; now, after a year of observations, we have discovered hundreds more,” said Caitlin Shin, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Physics.
“With all these sources, we can really begin to get a picture of what the FRB looks like as a whole, what astrophysics is driving these events, and use them to study the universe going forward.” How can it be done.”
CHIME’s findings indicate that at least 800 unseen FBRs are shooting up in the sky every day, most likely from magnetic fields around neutron stars, the researchers said.
The scientists said the FBRs were evenly distributed in space, and at least 61 ultra-fast signals were replicated from 18 sources.
“The story does not end with the release of the catalogue. I know researchers around the world are going to use this as a jumping off point for really exciting analysis,” said researcher Deborah Good, PhD, of UBC physics and astronomy.
Harvard scientist Avi Loeb, who was not involved in the study, speculated last year that aliens might be behind FRBs, using them for “military purposes” or “to launch a massive cargo at close to the speed of light”. can be done.
“It’s a long shot, but could some of these energy bursts from across the universe come from extraterrestrial civilizations?” Loeb wrote in Scientific American last June.
The findings come as defense officials prepare to issue a report to Congress this month detailing what the government knows about unidentified air incidents.
Officials with knowledge of the classified findings told The New York Times that the report suggests the Pentagon is uncertain about the origin of 120 UFO sightings, and can neither confirm nor deny that they were from outer space. were born in