Harvard Astrophysicists: ‘Extragalactic Fast Radio Bursts Could Be From Alien Spacecraft’

by 2 years ago

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are high-energy radio emissions that only last for a few milliseconds. The extraordinary astrophysical phenomenon was first discovered in 2007, but since then there has been fewer than two dozen detected. The FRBs can only be detected by gigantic radio telescopes like the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Parkes Observatory in Australia. On Monday, a team of astronomers associated with Australia’s Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope announced the discovery of three new Fast Radio Bursts (FRB 160317, 160410 and 160608) over an 180-day period.

Two of the three newly discovered FRBs were discovered relatively close to the galactic plane, but their “dispersion measures and redshifts suggest an extragalactic origin.” However, the exact point of origin of these transient radio pulses is yet to be determined.

“We spent 105 hours following FRB 160317, 43 hours on FRB 160410 and 35 hours on FRB 160608, and no repeat pulses were found from any of the FRB positions.” the researchers wrote in their paper titled “The first interferometric detections of Fast Radio Bursts,” which has been accepted in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. You can read it HERE.

They also made a fascinating finding that answered a decade-old question about the seldom seen phenomena. Many scientists believed that FRBs did not come from a galaxy far, far away, but rather was interference from Earth that was tricking astronomers into thinking their were originating from lightyears away. However, after developing software to examine through the thousands of TBs of data collected by the Molonglo telescope, they found the three new FRBs and that they originated from out of our galaxy.

So what are causing these Fast Radio Bursts that seem to never repeat? Most theories about FRB’s is that they are generated by cosmic catastrophes where the source of the energy is destroyed such as a “star exploding in a supernova, or a neutron star collapsing into a black hole.”

TAGSAstronomyFast Radio BurstsFRBScienceSpaceSwinburne University of Technology