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New repeating fast radio bursts discovered outside our galaxy, could it be aliens?

By midian182 · 29 replies
Jan 10, 2019
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  1. While there have been more than 60 FRBs identified since they were first discovered by accident in 2007 (in data archived since 2001), only one signal had been observed to be repeating itself. But between July and August last year, scientists at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) detected 13 different FRBs, including six repeating bursts from the same location in a galaxy 1.5 billion light-years away—all while CHIME was still in a "pre-commissioning phase."

    "Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB. Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there. And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles -- where they're from and what causes them," said Ingrid Stairs, from the University of British Columbia.

    While most previous FRBs had been recorded at frequencies around 1400MHz, these new bursts were collected at between 800MHz and 400MHz—the lowest frequency CHIME can detect.

    It’s theorized these FRBs could be created by strongly magnetized, rapidly spinning neutron stars called magnetars. They also show signs of “scattering,” which suggests the sources could be powerful astrophysical objects in locations with special characteristics, the scientists said.

    “That could mean in some sort of dense clump like a supernova remnant or near the central black hole in a galaxy,” said Dr. Cherry Ng, an astronomer at the University of Toronto. “But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see.”

    Interestingly, astrophysicist Emily Petroff, the first person to identify a FRB in real time, pointed out the similarities between the new “repeater” and the only other one to have been discovered.

    Some have suggested that these radio waves might not be natural, and could come from advanced alien races. Harvard University Professor Abraham Loeb last year said FRBs could originate from planet-sized transmitters that are used to propel giant spaceships by bouncing radio waves off their huge reflective sheets.

    “Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven’t identified a possible natural source with any confidence,” said Loeb. “An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking.

    Image credit: wi11 via Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 532   +141

    That's my neighbor!
     
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,582   +5,140

    More than likely we are hearing ourselves. You can't listen for a noise in a room full of noises. And our planet is full of noises. Not only that we are filling the skies full of noise as well.
     
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    Aliens or the echoes of our own radio frequencies? ...and then, Boom! second coming of Christ in the style of South Park tv series.
     
  5. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 214   +167

    It is most probably a black hole or magnetar and maybe an astronomical phenomenon we have not seen before. BUT... It could be aliens!!!

    Why are humans so desperate to find aliens? It seems to be a media stunt to draw attention of the masses to what might otherwise be a dry scientific discussion.
     
    ShagnWagn likes this.
  6. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 849   +652

    "FRBs could originate from planet-sized transmitters that are used to propel giant spaceships by bouncing radio waves off their huge reflective sheets"

    Are they saying that aliens, if they even exist, would be using one-way trip methods?
     
  7. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,772   +837

    Romulans!
     
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,706   +4,044

    Geeeezzzeeeee ...... they have worked this one to death. Come back when you have an intelligent message ....
     
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,069   +1,322

    Just another way to "drum up more government money" to "continue searching".
    What a waste of money. You can't "talk" or "visit" them, and, if they could come here,
    would you really WANT them here? With all the junk orbiting OUR planet, any space
    alien would probably avoid it, for fear it's some kind of space defense shield LOL.
     
  10. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 360   +159

    Could it be trumphucka's space force?
     
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,582   +5,140

    Lets all go around and put Trump's name in every topic. Lets troll all the topics and make them political.
     
    Xclusiveitalian likes this.
  12. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    This is actually exciting stuff if you have any kind of interest in astronomy.


    I also noticed that all of the astronomers mentioned in the article are women.
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,213   +2,482

    That there are more than one of these that are identical makes a case for a signal of natural origin assuming it is not, somehow, human noise or some other "noise" source.

    Technically correct that it could be noise; however, these days, those doing this kind of science go to great lengths to filter out things that could be terrestrial noise sources as well as noise from other sources.

    In fact, scientists recently realized the famous "WOW" signal was caused not by alien life, but likely came from the hydrogen cloud of a comet. https://phys.org/news/2017-06-wow-mystery-space.html
     
    cliffordcooley and Reachable like this.
  14. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,213   +2,482

    I often find anthropomorphic projections onto potential alien life amusing. To me, this kind of projection is a kind of scientific hubris. While it might be true, something artificial and this bright would likely come from a civilization that has a technology far beyond anything humanity has, and their understanding of physics is likely as far beyond humanity's understanding of physics.
     
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,582   +5,140

    While I understand this. That doesn't mean they didn't miss something.
     
  16. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 528   +393

    What worries me is if life in space have seen any videos from liveleak, bestgore, thegudda or leakedreality. There is too much hate & violence on earth and were probably labeled as animals. I sometimes wonder if earth was put far far away from others on purpose. I also sometimes wonder if I'm on the wrong planet.
     
  17. JB3543

    JB3543 TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +39

    When looking for ET, there is a principle known as the "Great Filter". This states that, for various reasons, intelligent beings find some way to muck themselves up before we hear from them. One of those possible self-defeating ways involves the superior culture being overrun by less-advanced cultures before they can develop interstellar communication.

    Oh wait, that is happening to our culture as we speak.
     
  18. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 848   +329

    Funny how they deny and classify the alien presence among us, but all the while searching for them.
     
  19. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 789   +175

    I'm positive there is other life out there, however, I always felt because of relativity and space time, we could never realistically reach each other. If we did when we came back to Earth millions of years could of passed.
     
  20. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 835   +730

    Yup, that's the great thing about the data being publicly available. Anyone can go back and re-analyze it to see if anything was missed. In fact if you don't have much in the way of grant money, this is one of the best bang for your buck ways to do science. All you need is to be a bit more clever with better ideas than the last guy.
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  21. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,213   +2,482

    I agree. It also does not mean they did. We really do not know since we did not participate in the research.

    That said, it is the characteristics of these events that distinguish them from noise. From the article -
    Simply put, these events have a large power output. This characteristic makes them easier to separate from noise. I do not know the exact figures, but given this from the article -
    I suspect that the power in these events is well-beyond anything that humanity is currently known to be able to produce.

    IMO, if they did their job correctly, the scientists studying this phenomenon set a filter on the power level of "good" signals such that the lowest power level they would consider as a "good" signal is reasonably above anything that is known to be produced by humans. Doing so would almost certainly rule out noise from some human source which, with some certainty, would appear as a signal with significantly less power within the context of this study.
     
  22. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    unless the aliens are space garbage collectors... and our orbiting junk and us are the garbage.
     
  23. gollum21

    gollum21 TS Enthusiast Posts: 45   +14

    Well, we already know magnetar stars exist. What it seems like is that it basically takes some specific theoretical scenarios for these FBRs to happen naturally:

    “That could mean in some sort of dense clump like a supernova remnant or near the central black hole in a galaxy,” said Dr. Cherry Ng, an astronomer at the University of Toronto. “But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see.”

    All the person from Harvard is suggesting is that IF it's not natural, a planet sized radio wave system could also produce similar signals. The thing is we already know black holes, or their gravitational pull at least, and magnetars exist. Even though I doubt we are the only life out there, what we have never discovered is a planet sized radio system lol. Like even if there are aliens out there it doesn't mean they are using a system like that anyways.

    So to me it just seems like this is more than likely a natural phenomenon. We know the universe is no stranger to causing highly specific natural things to happen or life as we already know it wouldn't exist. The universe is such a big place that if something can happen naturally at all, it's probably going to happen somewhere at some point.
     
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,582   +5,140

    What gets me is we can't even get good cell service. And that is because of signal degradation over small distances of our own planet. And they think they can measure a signal from one star to another.
     
    misor and Underdog like this.
  25. Underdog

    Underdog TS Addict Posts: 112   +61

    You make a valid point.
     

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