The August 2017 solar eclipse provided a lot of America an opportunity to see an astral phenomenon which doesn’t come around all too frequently. (Hopefully you didn’t stare directly at it.) West Virginia was a bit north of the path of totality, but what it missed when it came to space visuals was readily made up by a unique experience of space sounds. Scientists from the state received a series of radio signals from deep space just last weekend, according to Popular Science.
The signals, described as “bright radio pulses,” came from a dwarf galaxy approximately 3 billion light years away. All told, August 26 saw 15 instances of radio pulses being received. Back in July, scientists in Puerto Rico received their own mysterious radio signals, but from a different galaxy.
Scientists labeled this particular set of transmissions as FRB 121102. FRB stands for Fast Radio Bursts, and they were first detected from space back in 2001. The bursts were picked up at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.
Andrew Siemion, an astrophysicist and the director of the Breakthrough Listen program, says this set of signals are particularly unique, as previous FRBs “have never been seen at this high a frequency.”
A press release from Breakthrough Listen dove a bit into the possible sources of the bursts.
“Possible explanations for FRBs range from outbursts from rotating neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields, to more speculative ideas that they are directed energy sources used by extraterrestrial civilizations to power spacecraft.”
Keep in mind, however, that Breakthrough Listen’s express purpose is “aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth,” so they may just have a horse in this space race.
[Source: Popular Science]