Posted on February 15, 2020, 12:12 PM IST
There have been reports of a mysterious radio signal emitted from space over an interval period of every 16 days. A group of scientists revealed the detection of a repeating radio signal that are transmitted uniformly, and in clear intervals. With outer space research always being a matter of great intrigue, the latest discovery has sparked off expected discourse among conspiracy theorists and space enthusiasts regarding a hint of extraterrestrial life.
In authenticity, there might be multiple explanations for the occurrence of such signals. Referred to as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), radio signals originating in space are known to only be milliseconds long, and are typically sporadic in nature. The repeating signals in question were reportedly detected by collaborating scientists between the FRB Project and the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, more commonly known as the Chime telescope. According to their paper that is yet to be peer-reviewed, and has been made available to the public on Arxiv, the radio signals were detected for a consistent period between September 16, 2018 and October 30, 2019.
During the period of the repeating signals, the FRBs would be consistently received once every hour or two for a period of four days, following which things would go quiet for 12 days. The pattern would repeat itself after an exact period of 16.35 days, and the incident continued for over one year. Post discovery, the signal was assigned nomenclature of FRB 180916, and was one of eight new FRBs that we at Earth detected. The source of the signal in question is believed to be in the spiralling, star-forming arm of a galaxy that is nearly half a billion light years away.
Alternately, this might also signify a binary star unit within the galaxy's cluster, such as a dense neutron star and a massive, supergiant star. Theoretically, based on scientific observations made so far, it is possible for such binary star units to exist in unison, and generate a rhythmic signal.
Was this a last ditch, desperate attempt from a spaceship belonging to a faraway civilisation, as it traversed outer space trying to find sources of life elsewhere? Science fiction aside, the forever intriguing nature of space research means that until an occurrence is clearly studied, one may never know for sure.