A mysterious and very powerful radio signal emanating from deep space that repeats itself every 16 days was recently discovered by astronomers, providing further proof that “we are not alone.”
Okay, that’s not exactly what they said, but they did make an incredible discovery.
The radio signal or fast radio burst, called FRB 180916.J0158+65, was recently discovered by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)/Fast Radio Burst Project collaboration.
CHIME observed over a cycle of 409 days that this signal repeated itself every 16.35 days, according to a very sciencey report by Science Alert that is very hard to comprehend.
CNN broke it down into smaller words the rest of us can understand.
Last year, the CHIME/FRB collaboration detected the sources of eight new repeating fast radio bursts, including this signal. The repeating signal was traced to a massive spiral galaxy around 500 million light-years away.
Researchers hope that by tracing the origin of these mysterious bursts, they can determine what caused them. So far, they have traced single and repeating fast radio bursts back to very different sources, which deepens the mystery.
Okay, that was just me again. But you know it’s true.
In the paper, the researchers consider the possible causes, like the orbital motion of a star or an object that acts as a companion in the outskirts of the galaxy. The authors of another paper, who consulted with the researchers who discovered the pattern, suggest the cause could be coming from a neutron star and early OB-type star binary system.
So it’s aliens, right? Sending out signals?
“If it were an alien beacon, I would think it would emit more quickly because a 16-day period is not efficient for communication,” Leon Oostrum of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy told New Scientist. “Imagine getting one signal every 16 days — it would take forever to get a message.”
We really shouldn’t have to imagine because as we all know…
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