Last March, powerful outbursts of radio signals (or FRBs) were detected from the same point in the universe. Now, scientists have identified six additional signals that seem to emanate from exactly the same region in space, prompting researchers to question their true origin.
Located billions fo light years from Earth, some experts think SOMEONE out there could really be trying to contact us.
In 2007, the Parkes radio telescope located in New South Wales (Australia) spotted an unusually strong radio signal coming from space.
The signal, dubbed FRB 121102, was so intense that its provenance was questioned among experts.
Since then, the same radio telescope has captured other signals (2012), which were later verified by the Arecibo radio telescope (2014), thus discarding any possibility that the signals were caused by terrestrial interference.
Interestingly, additional signals were recently identified by the McGill University in Montreal, using the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia, USA and the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
Each FRB lasts only a few milliseconds and its true origin yet, remains a mystery, reports Science Alert.
This has caused the most daring researchers to leave on the table the remote possibility of the signals being sent by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization in search for life elsewhere in the universe.
However, not everyone thinks its ET calling Earth.
More orthodox explanations seem to point towards a blitzar, a neutron star whose mass is large enough to collapse into a black hole – or a neutron star with a particularly strong magnetic field.
We have detected six additional radio bursts from this source: five with the Green Bank Telescope at 2 GHz, and one at 1.4 GHz with the Arecibo Observatory, for a total of 17 bursts from this source. All have dispersion measures consistent with a single value (~559 pc cm−3) that is three times the predicted maximum Galactic contribution, —write researchers in the study published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Since it is not a recurrent signal, it has been ruled out that it originates in a single event, such as a cosmic explosion or a collision.
Researchers added: “Whether FRB 121102 is a unique object in the currently known sample of FRBs, or all FRBs are capable of repeating, its characterization is extremely important to understanding fast extragalactic radio transients.”
Previously, when researchers spotted signals from space, they asked colleagues at SETI to take a closer look whether or not it could be ET, however, it is still unclear whether or not scientists from McGill will ask SETI to take a closer look.