Source - A mysterious radio signal coming from deep in space appears to be repeating in a pattern, say scientists.
The powerful blast is coming from somewhere unknown and extragalactic, and is perhaps the most unusual "fast radio burst" ever detected by scientists.
Researchers have already spotted a number of the fast radio bursts originating from deep in space. They have even seen that limited numbers of them appear to repeat.
But the new breakthrough, spotted by scientists using a telescope in Canada and described in an early paper published online, is the first time that researchers have seen the blasts appearing in a regular, predictable pattern.
Astronomers have no confirmed explanation for the FRBs, with the only certain fact about their origin that they must be coming from somewhere very extreme and unusual. ...
The FRBs are in a 16-day cycle that sees them appear and then go dark, before doing the same all over again. Over the course of the cycle, the bursts will appear intensely for a four day flurry that sees a signal come every hour or more, and then it will go quiet for 12 days.
It appears to be coming from the edge of a massive spiral galaxy, about 500 million light years away, the researchers say.
That pattern is "an important clue to the nature of this object", the researchers write in the new paper.
OK, UFO deniers. The ball is in your skeptical, narrow-minded court.
I suppose I'm not calling out everyone who thinks those flying things millions of people have encountered around the world are swamp gas or weather balloons. Because you can believe that life exists elsewhere in the universe without believing those objects are interstellar spacecraft. Fine. Agree to disagree.
But if you're one of those hard core zealots who think we're alone, that the highest form of life in existence throughout the universe is the same species that produced Jeffrey Epstein and peaked with Golden Girls-themed Chia Pets, how do you explain this? Tell me, Neil DeGrasse Scoffer, how exactly does a galaxy far, far away produce a regular, systematic radio waves in a distinct pattern, hmm? Signals that keep to a schedule tighter than Barstool Radio on SiriusXM. What natural phenomena could cause this, Einstein?
It's early yet. I'm sure we'll put all our best and brightest minds on these signals to decode what they mean. But my first reaction is that this seems to be an answer to the famous Fermi Paradox, named for physics legend Enrico Fermi in 1950, when he asked a simple question over lunch one day with all his physicist friends. And he asked the question, that since there are so many trillions of stars surrounded by an unimaginable number of inhabitable planets, "where is everybody?"
Theories vary. From the hopeful ones that say they're out there, they just haven't found us yet. To the really depressing, morbid ones that suggest long before intelligent beings figure out how to traverse across galaxies, they build weapons that wipe their species out. (Thanks, buzzkills.) Personally, I very much believe they are here, hiding in plain sight. But even if you think that's not possible, at least here's your evidence they are out there, sending radio signals. At least they were 500 million years ago when this one was sent.
So hopefully this will prove to be what I'm saying it is. A clear, intentional signal from intelligent life on another world, sent to deliver us a message. Hopefully not Bill Belichick's birth planet, calling him home, but something. That ought to shut up the doubters once and for all. If a message sent over a half billion light years isn't enough to convince them, nothing will.