Astronomers Puzzled by Fast Radio Burst Transmitting to Earth Every 16 Days


Astronomers for the first time have discovered a Fast Radio Burst, a transient radio pulse caused by a high energy astrophysical process, which are usually only very short-lived, to repeat on a regular interval over the span of a year.

They say they have traced the source of the signals to a galaxy that is around 500 million light years from Earth. The signals were detected once an hour for four days, then they would stop, and then the same pattern would reappear 12 days later.

A paper written about the observations says, "The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object."

An article on Phys.org goes on to say that the pattern "suggests the source could be a celestial body of some kind orbiting around a star or another body. In such a scenario, the signals would cease when they are obstructed by the other body. But that still does not explain how a celestial body could be sending out signals on a regular basis."

Many agree that there is no evidence to suggest that the signals are caused by an extraterrestrial life form. An article by the MIT Technology Review claims "Even a highly intelligent species would be very unlikely to produce energies like this. And there is no detectible pattern so far that would suggest there's a sentient hand at play."

Source: USAToday.com

Photo: NASA/Getty Images

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