Advertisement

Scientists record 15 more radio bursts from deep space dwarf galaxy

Scientists record 15 repeating radio bursts from deep space dwarf galaxy
WATCH: UC Berkeley researchers describe their excitement at detecting 15 Fast Radio Bursts.

Scientists in California have detected 15 repeating radio bursts from a recurring source in deep space.

Late last year, international researchers, including those from McGill University, discovered that the same source was emitting Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) from a dwarf galaxy three-billion light-years away.

READ MORE: Scientists discover mysterious radio signals emanate from galaxy 3 billion light-years away

Researchers at the Breakthrough Listen lab at the University of California Berkeley recently recorded 15 FRBs from FRB 121102 – the same FRB from last year.

“Bursts from this source have never been seen at this high a frequency,” said Breakthrough Listen director Andrew Siemion.

Tweet This
WATCH: Scientists have discovered radio signals that are originating from a dwarf galaxy close to “the edge of the universe.” [Jan. 2017]
Scientists discover mysterious radio signals emanate from galaxy 30 billion light-years away
Scientists discover mysterious radio signals emanate from galaxy 30 billion light-years away

The series of bursts shows that the source is in a “newly active state,” said postdoctoral researcher Vishal Gajjar.

Story continues below advertisement

FRB 121102 was first detected in Australia on Nov. 2, 2012 and was observed to be the first repeating FRB in 2015.

In an interview with CBS-affiliate KPIX, UC Berkeley astronomer Steve Croft shed some light on what might be causing the FRBs.

“The leading theory is really all of this has something to do with neutron stars or maybe something to do with neutron stars with strong magnetic fields known as magnetars, and the way those magnetic fields interact with the materials surrounding them,” said Croft.

The dwarf galaxy from which the FRB originates.
The dwarf galaxy from which the FRB originates. Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF/NRC

READ MORE: Mysterious signal from space is no alien transmission

A neutron star is the dense core of a dead star.

An unpopular theory among scientists is that the signals are communication attempts from extraterrestrial beings.

Story continues below advertisement

“Aliens have no reason to specifically communicate with radio. They could communicate with something else,” McGill researcher Shriharsh Tendulkar told Global News back in January.

Tweet This

However, Breakthrough Listen’s mandate is to find signs of intelligent life in the universe, and one of their more speculative theories is that perhaps the bursts are from extraterrestrial civilizations powering their spacecrafts.

The lab researchers hope that these 15 new FRBs will take them one step closer to discovering life beyond Earth.

“We do know that the universe is capable of producing intelligent civilizations that can produce technology,” said Siemion. “We do have to keep our minds open to the possibility when we’re doing any kind of astronomy.”