Distant galaxy sends out 15 high-energy radio bursts

❝ Breakthrough Listen, an initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe, has detected 15 brief but powerful radio pulses emanating from a mysterious and repeating source – FRB 121102 – far across the universe.

Fast radio bursts are brief, bright pulses of radio emission from distant but largely unknown sources, and FRB 121102 is the only one known to repeat: more than 150 high-energy bursts have been observed coming from the object, which was identified last year as a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years from Earth.

❝ Possible explanations for the repeating bursts range from outbursts from rotating neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields – so-called magnetars – to a more speculative idea: They are directed energy sources, powerful laser bursts used by extraterrestrial civilizations to power spacecraft, akin to Breakthrough Starshot’s plan to use powerful laser pulses to propel nano-spacecraft to our solar system’s nearest star, Proxima Centauri…

❝ Regardless of FRB 121102’s ultimate source, when the recently detected pulses left their host galaxy, our solar system was less than 2 billion years old, noted Steve Croft, a Breakthrough Listen astronomer at UC Berkeley. Life on Earth consisted only of single-celled organisms; it would be another billion years before even the simplest multi-cellular life began to evolve.

The dominant life-form on Earth still is pretty simple-minded. When we get round to relying uniformly and consistently on scientific fact and evidence-driven conclusions, we may finally creep beyond Jack and the Beanstalk mythology and ritual.

2 thoughts on “Distant galaxy sends out 15 high-energy radio bursts

  1. It's a cookbook says:

    (EarthSky 9/2/17): “Breakthrough Listen – a global astronomical initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe, launched in 2015 by Internet investor Yuri Milner and cosmologist Stephen Hawking – has detected 15 more brief but powerful radio pulses from FRB 121102, a mysterious source associated with a galaxy in the distant universe.
    …FRB 121102 is the only one known to repeat. The new Breakthrough Listen observations, made with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, bring the total of known high-energy bursts from this strange object to more than 150.
    The new results are published as an Astronomer’s Telegram, which is a non-peer-reviewed vehicle used by astronomers to report upon new astronomical observations of transient sources such as this one.” See http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=10675

  2. Tom Corbett says:

    “Researchers Probe Origin of Superpowerful Radio Blasts from Space” https://www.space.com/39340-researchers-probe-origin-fast-radio-bursts.html When radio waves pass through a magnetized plasma, or cloud of electrically charged particles, the direction in which they are polarized can twist, an effect known as Faraday rotation. Hessels and his colleagues found that FRB (Fast Radio Burst) 121102’s radio bursts were more than 500 times more twisted than those from any other FRB to date. FRB 121102 is located in a star-forming region of a dwarf galaxy found about 3 billion light-years from Earth. Because astronomers can see it from such a great distance, the amount of energy in a single millisecond of each of these bursts must be about as much as the sun releases in an entire day, researchers said in a statement. The scientists detailed their findings in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal Nature (“An extreme magneto-ionic environment associated with the fast radio burst source FRB 121102”) https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25149

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