According to researchers in Australia, fast radio bursts that are being picked up by radio telescopes have now doubled, with the most recent bursts being both the brightest and closest that have been detected so far.
As the Independent reports, scientists are still deeply confused about the fast radio bursts that they are witnessing and there are many different theories as to their origin. These bursts contain such an immense amount of energy that each of them has been determined to unleash the same amount of energy that the sun releases over an 80-year span of time. However, the source of these fast radio bursts still remains a mystery.
Some scientists from Harvard University believe that it is certainly plausible that fast radio bursts could be proof of extraterrestrial intelligence in other galaxies and that the bursts that are picked up on Earth come from vast transmitters out in space that are propelling light sail ships as they streak across the universe.
Other credible but perhaps more mundane theories as to the origin of these bursts include the ideas that they could be coming from black holes or that dense stars are careening into each other and causing these displays. Fortunately for scientists, with so much new data to sift through, they are working harder than ever now to try and learn where the fast radio bursts are coming from.
Lead author of the new research Dr. Ryan Shannon, from Swinburne University of Technology and the OzGrav ARC Centre of Excellence, explained that since fast radio bursts were first detected in 2007, these signals have now come close to doubling in scope.
“We’ve found 20 fast radio bursts in a year, almost doubling the number detected worldwide since they were discovered in 2007. Using the new technology of the Australia Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), we’ve also proved that fast radio bursts are coming from the other side of the Universe rather than from our own galactic neighborhood.”
Scientists were able to learn that these fast radio bursts come from quite far away by tracking them over the path they take which is quite long, being billions of years, and determined that they come from alien galaxies, according to Dr. Ryan Shannon.
“Each time this happens, the different wavelengths that make up a burst are slowed by different amounts. Eventually, the burst reaches Earth with its spread of wavelengths arriving at the telescope at slightly different times, like swimmers at a finish line. Timing the arrival of the different wavelengths tells us how much material the burst has traveled through on its journey. And because we’ve shown that fast radio bursts come from far away, we can use them to detect all the missing matter located in the space between galaxies–which is a really exciting discovery.”
With radio telescopes now shedding more light on these mysterious fast radio bursts, it is only a matter of time before scientists finally learn what is creating them.