The detection of 15 fast radio bursts in a galaxy three billion light years away has scientists in a heated debate over their origin.
An incredible announcement from Stephen Hawking’s Breakthrough Listen project suggests something strange is coming from a galaxy three billion light years away, and it could be alien in nature. The project reported 15 fast radio bursts (FRBs) from a dwarf galaxy known as FRB 121102, and while their could be other explanations, this is exactly the type of thing the project is looking for.
Over a period of 30 minutes, scientists recorded the FRBs, which could be a sign of alien life or could be emitted by black holes or neutron stars orbiting each other. Scientists had heard FRBs from this galaxy before, but the signals happened at a higher frequency this time around.
Hawking created the Breakthrough Listen project in an attempt to see if there is other intelligent life somewhere out there in the universe. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner also backs the project.
“Breakthrough Listen – the initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe – has detected 15 fast radio bursts emanating from the mysterious “repeater” FRB 121102,” the statement from the project reads. “Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are brief, bright pulses of radio emission from distant galaxies. First detected with the Parkes Telescope in Australia, FRBs have now been seen by several radio telescopes around the world. FRB 121102 was discovered in 2012, on November 2nd (hence its name). In 2015, it was the first FRB seen to repeat, ruling out theories of the bursts’ origins that involved the catastrophic destruction of the progenitor (at least in this particular instance). And in 2016, the repeater was the first FRB to have its location pinpointed with sufficient precision to allow its host galaxy to be identified. It resides in a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years away from Earth.”