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.
NASA's Curiosity Rover Found A Strange Metallic Object on Mars
NASA’s Curiosity rover recently stumbled upon an unusually shiny object in Mars’ Gale Crater. While the discovery received some coverage, it came at a time when most attention was focused on the space agency’s successful touchdown of the InSight Lander. NASA says it believes the object may be a meteorite and that it plans to study it more closely, though Curiosity was unable to pick it up on its first attempt.
The object, which NASA named Little Colonsay after an island in Scotland, has a distinct sheen to it, even noticeable through a black and white image the agency posted on its website.
“The planning team thinks it might be a meteorite because it is so shiny,” Susanne Schwenzer, a member of the Curiosity team, wrote. “But looks can deceive, and proof will only come from the chemistry.”
Curiosity has discovered meteorites in the past, though every irregular or eye-catching find sparks excitement, especially considering the recent discovery of a 12-mile wide body of water beneath the planet’s surface — a breakthrough confirming that Mars, at some point in its past, contained vast oceans and potentially harbored life. This possibility excites those who believe we may find evidence of a lost civilization or even fossils beneath the planet’s dusty surface.
The latest discovery apparently occurred the same day the InSight Lander touched down, as NASA’s JPL website said Curiosity was greeted by the Mr. Rogers’ jingle “Please would you be my neighbor,” before it got to work studying Little Colonsay.
This is not the first time Curiosity has come across anomalous looking objects, as it once found a piece of plastic, which was later alleged to have originated as debris from its landing.
Other strange looking objects the rover uncovered have convinced people that NASA found animals or artificial remnants it then covered up or ignored. However, the space agency insists these to be the product of pareidolia – a trick our minds play on us to make objects appear recognizable – though still, some remain skeptical.
Back in August, a very distinctly shaped object was discovered by Curiosity igniting speculation of an alien artifact or that it was a piece of the rover which was starting to fall apart. NASA tried to quell the excitement saying it tested the object and found it was a rock.
In other instances, online sleuths have claimed that the rover imaged animals including a squirrel and a duck on the Martian surface. These claims however, should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but if you’re interested you can find them here and here.
Even if most of Curiosity’s discoveries are just rocks, there are in fact, some truly unexplained anomalies discovered while observing the red planet – check them out in this episode of Deep Space :