Could New Unexplained Fast Radio Bursts Be Alien Signals?
A repeated galactic burst of energy coming from three billion light-years away has been detected again and astronomers don’t know what it is. First observed in 2007, this phenomenon called a fast radio burst (FRB) lasts only a fraction of a second but puts out massive amounts of energy, and some put out repeated signals.
Marc D’Antonio, astronomer and Gaia News contributor weighed in on this phenomenon.
“These fast radio bursts are what they sound like, radio bursts, that is down in the long-length end of the spectrum, they’re red in the spectrum— the light you can’t see. They happen in just a few milliseconds, but we usually see them from galaxies that are billions of light-years away, which implies they have a massive strength to get here with the kind of intensity that they do. So that was a mystery. Then we theorized about, or astrophysicists theorized about, stars like the pulsar, which is a neutron star but far more magnetic,” D’Antonio said.
“That means that if these stars have massive magnetic fields, then they have this rarified atmosphere that includes electricity and magnetic fields and then the surface of the star itself. And under certain conditions, those stars could emit basically like a shockwave pulse, a resonant pulse — that is like waves, you know you push waves in a pool and eventually one of them is going to get really big, well that really big wave is a resonant wave, it’s the one that they all add together. And sometimes that happens with these magnetars as they’re called, these gigantic, highly magnetized neutron stars that send out this very, very rapid pulse — POW!”
How does a star of that type recharge and fire again so quickly?
“Now, it would take some time for a neutron star of that type to recharge and be able to make another one of these bursts,” D’Antonio said. “But this particular one, just when you think you understand everything, this particular one shows us that we don’t quite understand everything because this particular magnetar — if it’s a magnetar at all — is firing bursts very quickly and rapidly, faster than theoretically possible. So now, we don’t know what’s going on here, now we don’t have an idea. What’s causing it to charge up again so quickly to be able to do this?”
“It’s like a flashbulb, you know like a flash on your camera. In the old days, when people had flashes, you would set off the flash and hear it charging up again. Then you could fire the flash maybe 10-15 seconds later. Well think about that in terms of a star, a magnetar sets out this burst that is massive, so massive that it would dwarf the output of our sun, and then it sends off another one right in short succession. Wait a minute, what is this? And that’s the mystery here, we don’t know. Isn’t that exciting? I think that’s really exciting.”
Is it possible that these FRBs that fire in rapid succession with more power than the sun are some type of signal from another life force?
“It would be arrogance to say that it’s definitely not a life form — that would be arrogance. But I do know that pulsars when we first saw them were thought to be intelligent signals as well and it turned out they were neutron stars that had that lighthouse beacon. Could FRBs be a natural phenomenon? Yeah, they could and maybe they are, the chances are that they are. But I can’t deny that these FRBs, act a certain way and then you find one that doesn’t. That’s pretty perplexing and that opens up the mind to thinking about possibilities of what could be causing that,” D’Antonio said.
This is a young field of study for astronomy, what is the big takeaway from what we’ve learned about FRBs so far?
“The takeaway here is that we don’t know. But you know what? That’s actually the fun part, it keeps you digging through the research, it keeps you looking at the data trying to figure out what it is we’re looking at here. But you know, then again the other side of this I’m thinking ‘I wonder if it is artificial? No, Mark, you can’t say that, you can’t say it’s artificial.’ What if it is artificial? I don’t know, I can’t say for sure. But we can’t deny the possibility that there might be other things at play here. But we always have to exhaust all natural phenomena possibilities first, but I like the possibility that’s out there, that might suggest a signal,” D’Antonio said.
Will NASA's New Telescope Discover ET Life?
The spectacular first images from the James Webb Space Telescope are finally here and they do not disappoint.
After years of planning, construction, delays, and a cost of about $10 billion, we finally have the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope. Launched in December of 2021, the JWST is the largest and most powerful space telescope ever to be put in space.
Astronomers have waited a lifetime to see with such amazing clarity deep into space. JWST does this by operating in the infrared spectrum; it “sees” light that is outside the visible spectrum of our naked eye and previous telescopes like Hubble.
NASA released photos of the first five targets noting, “These first images from the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope demonstrate Webb at its full power, ready to begin its mission to unfold the infrared universe.”
We caught up with astronomer and Gaia News contributor Marc D’Antonio on the road in Arizona, to break down the images.
“I saw these images and the release of all five different images represent a different aspect of what this telescope can do — absolutely astonishing to me — from galaxies to gas clouds, this telescope hands down, has the ability to show us so much that we don’t understand.”