You probably don’t remember but way back in 2007, astronomers in Australia detected a strong burst of radio waves coming from somewhere. The burst was short and sweet but they never discovered the source. Now, 14 years later, astronomers have detected another similar spurt of waves. Unfortunately, they still have no ides where these are coming from.
It’s probably aliens, right?
Initially, the first burst, now being (FRB’s for fast radio bursts), in 2007 ended up being considered a fluke of some sort, likely interference from cosmic noise. However, with a second occurrence, astronomers think they can rule out any interference. The say these waves “”show every sign of having come from far outside our galaxy.”
Regrettably, since there have been only two FRB’s so far, not much research can happen. Astronomers really need more to figure out what is causing them. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t big for the astronomy and science community.
Laura Spitler, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany, says,
We really have no handle on what they are. Scientists are highly skeptical of such discoveries … [that] all of the bursts up until now had been discovered by the Parkes telescope was a cause of concern. Now, with the discovery of a burst from Arecibo, we are more confident that FRBs are astrophysical phenomena, and discovering and classifying them should be a priority of radio astronomical observatories in the future.
For now let’s hold out hope that we might get aliens.