Published: 3:45 PM 5/17/2014
by Mary Nichols
Fast Burst Radio Signals Puzzling Astronomers
Astronomers are puzzled by a new series of mysterious signals, known as Fast Radio Bursts, prompting speculation on whether they could be extra-terrestrial, writes The Daily Mail.
FBR's are radio emissions that appear temporarily and randomly - which makes it difficult for researchers to find them as well as study the emissions.
It is unclear what the causes of short and sharp bursts are - leading to speculation that they could be from stars colliding or even artificially created messages.
The first emissions were "heard" by radio telescopes in 2007. However, it was years before astronomers agreed that it was not just a glitch in the telescope's instruments as the signal was short and random.
According to The Daily Mail, the signal, which lasted just five milliseconds, was named 'the Lorimer burst' after its discoverer, Duncan Lorimer.
"A recent discovery, in April of this year, of an FRB using the giant radio dish in Puerto Rico confirmed to astronomers that these signals are indeed real - but they're no closer to finding out an answer as to what they are," The Daily Mail reported.
"Theories so far include flaring stars, white dwarfs merging, neutron stars colliding and - most intriguingly - alien signals."
Since the radio emission was clearly dispersed, some scientists have speculated that the signals must have come from a source that could have originated billions of light years away.
But despite early estimates, which show that 10,000 of these events should occur eaach day - another of the signals was not discovered until 2012.
"This extraordinary finding either indicates an as yet unknown or unusual astronomical phenomenon, or it could indicate that this is a vast alien communication network, and the universe is teeming with intelligent life forms," Nigel Watson, author of the UFO Investigations Manual, told The Daily Mail.
"Every unusual signal from outer space encourages us to wonder if it is from an alien civilization. Since this signal seems so elusive and hard to interpret then this should be a candidate for further analysis."
"It would be fantastic if this was an alien signal as the knowledge that we are not alone in this vast universe would have a dramatic impact on our perception of our place in the scheme of things."
For now, the source remains a mystery.