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Space's mysterious fast radio bursts: What the heck are they?

Jul 5th 2020, 12:43 am
Posted by brookei418
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We're already picking up more signals from deep space.

Danielle Futselaar

Fast radio bursts from space are a uniquely 21st-century mystery. They were first identified just 12 years ago and, up until very recently, almost nothing was known about them and where they come from.

But new radio telescopes in Australia and Canada are already making it much easier to detect fast radio bursts, or FRBs, and here's a look at what we've learned so far.

FRBs are essentially just what they sound like -- radio signals from somewhere in deep space that last for just milliseconds.

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence," Avi Loeb, a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics theorist, said in a press release back in 2017.

Since then, an "FRB Theory Wiki" hosted by the McGill Space Institute has grown to include over four dozen possible explanations ranging from "annihilating mini black holes" to "alien light sails," although most explanations at this point have something to do with pulsars or neutron stars. 

An (extraterrestrial) intelligent explanation?

It should really be no surprise that, as with most space stuff that can't yet be explained without a doubt by some natural phenomenon, www.buguwuliu.com aliens have been proposed as a possibility, including by Loeb himself.

"An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking," he says.

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