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More mysterious signals from space discovered



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Illustration of a radio telescope listening to FRBs.


Danielle Futselaar / Breakthrough Lists

A new set of alien signals was taken from the direction of two galaxies beyond our own Milky Way galaxy.

So-called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are among the more enigmatic and inexplicable cosmic phenomena that have occurred lately. A few dozen of the strong, fleeting impulses have been discovered in the last 12 years, and the Russian radio astronomy observatory Puschtschino reported nine more on Friday. Researchers tracked a non-repeating FRB for the first time on a source galaxy .

Russian scientists found the new outbreaks in archival data from 2012 to 2018. They came from the direction of galaxies M31 and M33, which are the closest to our own Milky Way galaxy. The strength of the bursts suggests, however, that they are far away, ie behind the two nearby galaxies.

One of the outbreaks from M33 was also observed repeatedly. This would be just the third repetitive FRB ever discovered. Repeated FRBs should also be more easily due to their source.

It's still unclear what generates FRBs, but the suggested causes include everything from neutron stars to extraterrestrial intelligence. Every new discovery should bring us closer to the solution of the riddle.


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