There are only a few questions out there more important than whether or not we are currently alone in the universe, and it looks as though science may have just moved one step closer to discovering the truth.
Our planet has always been obsessed with the idea of little green men from Mars and their potential visits to earth in high-tech spacecraft of all shapes and sizes. In fact, according to some “experts”, extraterrestrials have been visiting earth for thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years, with full-on communication between human beings and these otherworldly star-people having occurred on Earth in the distant path. And, believe it or not, these ideas make up a huge part of the History Channel’s revenue scheme.
One of the more realistic ways in which we believe that extraterrestrial beings could be actually communicating with us is a lot more boring than this excitable fellow will let on; Radio signals.
For decades we have been listening skyward with sophisticated equipment, hoping to pick up a signal, anything really, that would let us know that out there somewhere are similarly curious creatures. And now, after decades of assumed near-hits and near-misses, we may actually have something to show for our tedious and often dull work.
Repeating radio signals coming from a mystery source far beyond the Milky Way have been discovered by scientists. While one-off fast radio bursts (FRBs) have been detected in the past, this is the first time multiple signals have been detected coming from the same place in space.
FRBs are radio signals from deep space that last for just a few milliseconds. Since their discovery over a decade ago, scientists have been searching for more to try to understand their origin. At present, there are several theories as to what they could be, with most involving some cataclysmic event like a supernova or a neutron star collapsing into a black hole.
All of the events seen so far appear to have been one-offs, with subsequent observations failing to find follow-up bursts coming from the same position as the original. However, an international team of researchers has now discovered an additional 10 bursts coming from the same direction as FRB 121102, using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
Sure, this isn’t the glitzy, glamorous sort of revelation that many of us were hoping for when it comes to ET’s, but it sure beats the bizarre stories of crashed saucers in the New Mexico dessert and captured alien beings being whisked away to secretive destinations such as Wright Patterson Air Force Base or Groom Lake, Nevada’s Area 51 in terms of credibility.
So, are these signals from an intelligent source in the stars? Only time will tell and, fingers crossed, whoever is on the other end of these signals isn’t looking for a fight.