Scientists Have Detected a Mysterious Radio Signal From Outer Space That Repeats Every 16 Days
Scientists have detected a mysterious radio signal from outer space that has been repeating at regular intervals for over a year now. Known as a “fast radio burst,” these strange pulses of radio waves originate from far across the universe, in a galaxy some 500 million light-years away.
Scientists first detected these radio waves about once an hour for four days, upon which they would stop for 12 days, only to start up again. According to a research paper published on the findings, the repeating pattern “suggest[s] the source could be a celestial body of some kind orbiting around a star or another body. In such a scenario, the signals would cease when they are obstructed by the other body.
This hypothesis, however, does not answer the question of how a celestial body could possibly be sending signals on such a regular basis. The Science X Network says one possibility could be “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.”
Considering the ultimately peculiar nature of the signals, it is only natural to wonder if their source comes from some form of extraterrestrial intelligence. Unfortunately, the brilliant minds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say this is highly unlikely, due to the extreme required to send such a signal like this across such vast distances. “Even a highly intelligent species would be very unlikely to produce energies like this. And there is no detectable pattern so far that would suggest there’s a sentient hand at play,” MIT said.
Nevertheless, the phenomenon of fast radio bursts continues to be one of the greatest mysteries in modern astronomy. Due to their incredibly short nature, often lasting only a few milliseconds, fast radio bursts are exceptionally difficult to accurately determine where they originate from.
In the past decade, astronomers have recorded hundreds of these mysterious pulses from all areas of the universe. While most are short one-off bursts, others are repeaters like this one. The intergalactic radio pulse was first detected by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment using a specially designed radio telescope. While scientists have yet to crack the mystery of space’s most enigmatic phenomenon, they are eager to continue to study it in order to develop a broader understanding of their powerful origins.