Scientists have detected mysterious signals from a ‘powerful exotic object’ which have been found to be coming from the same spot in the universe again and again.
So what is the mystery behind these messages? Are they messages from aliens who are trying to contact us?
Astronomers have been baffled by what could be causing the bursts of radio waves.
When astronomers received these signals for the first time in 2007, they thought they were radio bursts which are caused by some cosmic events like a star exploding in a supernova or a neutron star collapsing into a black hole.
But as astronomers have repeatedly received the signals from the same location, this possibility was ruled out. A study published in the journal Nature indicates that it is very likely that the fast radio bursts have another, more permanent origin.
Astronomers spotted these signals while sifting through data from the world’s largest radio telescope, the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico. Based on measurements of an effect known as plasma dispersion, scientists consider these fast radio bursts as having originated in distant galaxies.
Jason Hessels, associate professor at the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy said, “Once we have precisely localized the repeater’s position in the sky, we will be able to compare observations from optical and X-ray telescopes and see if there is a galaxy there. Finding the host galaxy of this source is critical to understanding its properties.”