Repeated radio signals from deep space thrust advanced alien life theories

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But exactly what is causing these powerful radio signals that are travelling from distant galaxies isn't known.

The researchers said that studying the fast radio bursts is a hard task because they're rare and only occur once.

Among the 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away.

Over time, Stairs says researchers will hopefully be able to develop a "clearer picture" that could lead to figuring out what exactly is producing these radio waves. "And with more repeaters available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles a bit better - where they're from, what causes them, and why", says Ingrid Stairs, a member of the CHIME team and an astrophysicist at University of British Columbia.

Having two sets of repeating bursts could also allow scientists to understand what distinguishes them from single bursts, helping them understand more about their source and watch for future blasts.

This is one of the very first detections made by the new Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME. A minority of observers considered the possibility of an alien spaceship, BBC News reports.

A majority of the bakers' dozen FRBs detected showed signs of "scattering" or "dispersion", a phenomenon that reveals information about how much matter the bursts travelled through to reach Earth.

Responding to the news, one excited astronomer replied: "That means there is something out there".

"Different emission mechanisms expect that FRBs will be emitted within a certain range of radio frequencies, much like a light bulb can not emit X-rays or a microwave oven can not emit ultraviolet light", Tendulkar told Gizmodo.

They only last a few milliseconds before disappearing and come from distance places in the known universe.

Another notable attribute of the new FRBs is their unusually low radio frequencies - coming in at 800 megahertz rather than the 1,400 megahertz of most previously detected signals.

So, in less than a decade, radio telescopes have been designed and built to identify more of these events. That's about twice as close as the other repeater, FRB 121102. "Our data will break open some of the mysteries of [the bursts]".

Astronomers from Canada are responsible for the latest finding, which came over a period of three weeks last summer.

He added: "That tells us something about the environments and the sources".

While this preliminary data doesn't provide a clear indication of what fast radio bursts are, CHIME provides reason for optimism that the "we need more data" mantra is likely to be met. CHIME is now fully commissioned, and it will be taking data full time and with the instrument's full field of view.

"It just seems completely inconceivable that there could be that many different alien civilisations all deciding to produce the same kind of signal in the same way - that just seems highly improbable".

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