First Contact? Earth Being Hit by Mind-Blowingly Powerful Radio Burst Every 10 seconds Coming From Distant Dwarf Galaxy
The ongoing MYSTERIOUS pulses of radio energy more powerful than 10,000 suns picked up by astronomers have now been linked to a dwarf galaxy discovered more than three billion light years away.
Fast Radio Burst (FRB) are highly energetic but very short-lived bursts of radio waves lasting no more than a millisecond.
The flickers of light, which were first discovered in 2007, last for a fraction of a second but during that time release more energy that the sun will radiate in 10,000 years.
So far 17 more FRBs have been identified – and scientists estimate one of these bursts occurs somewhere in the sky every 10 second.
But a recent study has been able to locate one of the bursts to within a dwarf galaxy billions of light years away – in what could be a sign of alien life.
So far 17 more FRBs have been identified
First spotted in 2012 by astronomers at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the bright, flickering light has recurred repeatedly over the last four years.
And scientists can now reveal its exact position in the sky after honing in on the location following six months of studying the bursts.
Dr Shriharsh Tendulkar, a member of the team from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said: “Before we knew the distance to any FRBs, several proposed explanations for their origins said they could be coming from within or near our own Milky Way galaxy.
“We now have ruled out those explanations, at least for this FRB.”
Using the Very Large Array (VLA), a multi-antenna radio telescope operated by the US National Science Foundation, they were able to pinpoint exactly where FRB 121102 was coming from.
And the spot happened to coincide with that of a faint dwarf galaxy more than three billion light years from Earth.
Further investigations revealed the two emission sources could not be more than 100 light years apart, and are likely to come from the same source.
Dr Benito Marcote, from the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands, said: “We think that the bursts and the continuous source are likely to be either the same object or that they are somehow physically associated with each other.”
But what exactly produced the burst remains unknown.
Experts suggest it could have been caused by a super-dense neutron star or possibly a “magnetar”, a neutron star with a very powerful magnetic field.
But it has also been suggested the source could be jets of material shooting out from the rim of a supermassive black hole.
Co-author Dr Shami Chatterjee, from Cornell University in the US, said: “Finding the host galaxy of this FRB, and its distance, is a big step forward, but we still have much more to do before we fully understand what these things are.”
The research was presented at the American Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas.