The universe holds its fair amount of mysteries, even more than we can actually handle at the moment, but at least now, one of them has been elucidated, as alien radio signals no longer puzzle scientists.
These phenomena have been noticed since 2005 and they can be described as a bright flash of radio waves, a pulse, that appears and then it’s gone in almost an instant. This phenomenon is called a fast radio burst, and up until now, scientists have only seen it happen, without knowing the cause of its creation.
A group or astronomers and researchers from multiple universities, including the famous Carnegie Mellon University, have gathered and analyzed over 650 hours of data regarding this phenomenon, data which was gathered by the Green Bank Telescope of the National Science Foundation. By sifting through all of the data compiled, they managed to discover one particular occurrence where the creator of such a radio pulse can be spotted.
This phenomenon usually occurs in highly magnetized areas of space left behind by massive supernovas or found in the middle of a nebula which is giving birth to a star. This massive magnetic force creates an intense burst of radio waves, thus making a fast radio burst.
Even if up to this point only 15 such bursts have been documented, they most likely occur in the numbers of thousands every single day. But due to our technological limitations, only a few of them were able to be analyzed.
That is until today when the astronomers in question came up with a new method of finding out the exact specifics of a rapid radio burst by analyzing the polarization levels of said phenomenon. But this is completely dependent on the structure of the burst itself. But as luck would have it, the one captured on the 3rd of December has an increased polarization, giving scientists ways of pinpointing its origin by studying its structure.
Due to the corkscrew shape of the radio burst, given by the Faraday rotation which it possessed, researchers were able to determine that the burst in question, named FRB 110523, passed through two screens of ionized gas, one greater than the other. By analyzing the data maps of space which we currently hold, they were able to discern the direction from which the burst originated from, paving the way to a day when we will be able to see directly what can cause such an amazing episode.
Even if the alien radio signals no longer puzzle scientists entirely, they still need to see where they came from in a much more exact manner, not just in theory. But who knows, they could very well be alien but we just can’t put our finger on it yet.