Recently on January 9, 2019, Astronauts have detected 13 high-speed radio waves coming from deep space with unusual repeating sounds. While the exact sources remain unknown, the new bevy of mysterious blasts does offer fresh clues to where and why such flashes appear across the cosmos.
This also includes the new search for aliens. According to astronauts, these radio waves were coming from the source which is 1.5 billion light-years away from us. This possibly mean, this radio wave was sent 1 billion years before when the Earth was on baby stage i.e 3.6 billion years ago when humans didn’t even existed.
Fast radio bursts, as they are known to scientists, are among the universe’s most bizarre phenomena. Each burst lasts just thousandths of a second, and they all appear to be coming from far outside our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
But here, new question arises,
Was this source a Alien Spaceship?
Probably, everyone will be excited to know this, but this source is too far from us which is about impossible for them to travel in their 1 life. As, it was sent 1.5 billion years before, they are very old messages and it is repeating unusually.
“It doesn’t mean that they’re traveling from further away,” says study author Shriharsh Tendulkar, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of physics at McGill University. “As light propagates through the hot gas and plasma in the intergalactic medium and the interstellar medium, it has a bunch of different effects on the signal.”
For instance, the radio waves get twisted as they travel through space and can scatter or be absorbed by gas and plasma. The team therefore thinks that all 13 bursts likely originated from dense, turbulent regions inside of their host galaxies, particularly areas with a lot of violent activity, such as near dense supernova remnants or close to black holes.
Tendulkar and the team also noticed that the structure of the new repeating burst is strikingly similar to the only other repeater ever found.
“The fact that we see these multiple structures in the burst was very similar to the first repeating fast radio burst. This is very uncommon,” he says. “Now there is this tantalizing evidence that these bursts’ structures are seen only in repeaters.” That suggests that if more fast radio bursts are found with that structure, they may be prime candidates for also being repeaters.
The new repeating burst is brighter than the previous detection, which might be due to the fact that it is 1.5 billion light-years closer, but the team can’t know that for sure. To draw more comparisons, they’ll have to search the skies for the new burst’s host galaxy, which is not a guaranteed find. In the meantime, the team is continuing to use CHIME to observe the region of the sky where these bursts came from, as well as using other radio telescopes to follow up on the finds.
“We are trying to build up clues and trying to understand whether the repeating fast radio bursts and single fast radio bursts are different populations,” Tendulkar says. “Do they come from different objects? Or are they related in some way to each other? We are trying to figure these things out, so that’s really exciting.”
What’s more, when CHIME detected these new bursts, it was only running at a fraction of its capacity, and the team is excited to see how many more will appear in their data now that the instrument is fully up and running.
“The CHIME discovery points to a huge potential,” says Shami Chatterjee, a senior researcher at the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science who was not involved in the latest discoveries. “I’m intensely curious how many [fast radio bursts] they are sitting on now. They must have dozens or hundreds.”
Finding yet more bursts means that the odd occurrences could be effective tools for understanding the traces of gas, dust, and plasma that exist in the seemingly empty space between galaxies, called the intergalactic medium, Chatterjee adds.
“Everyone agrees that in the intergalactic medium, it’s very hard to have a probe that can tell you about its makeup,” Chatterjee says. “It is orders of magnitude emptier than our own interstellar medium, but because of the [fast radio bursts] that we are now finding, it is going to be one of the few ways that we can probe this medium and understand those environments.”
And for now, Tendulkar notes that the mystery surrounding fast radio bursts remains part of their appeal.
“There is a lot of fun in the not knowing,” he says. “You keep adding more information, but as in all sciences, whenever you solve one mystery, it always opens up three more.”