The detection of 15 fast radio bursts in a distant galaxy has many scientists excited, but some questioning whether a black hole or something else was the cause.
Stephen Hawking’s Breakthrough Listen project may have just made a major discovery after detecting some strange signals that some claim could indicate intelligent life. They reported 15 fast radio bursts from a drawf galaxy located about 3 billion light years from Earth.
The FRBs happened repeatedly and over a period of about 30 minutes. Scientists aren’t sure if it’s an indication of alien life or signals from black holes and neutron stars. The signals came from FRB 121102, which had been the source of some other strange radio pulses. This time, however, the signals happened at a higher frequency.
The Breakthrough Listen project was created by Hawking to search for the holy grail of science: evidence of intelligent life somewhere in the universe outside of Earth. The project is also backed by Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire.
“Breakthrough Listen – the initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe – has detected 15 fast radio bursts emanating from the mysterious “repeater” FRB 121102,” the statement from the organization reads. “Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are brief, bright pulses of radio emission from distant galaxies. First detected with the Parkes Telescope in Australia, FRBs have now been seen by several radio telescopes around the world. FRB 121102 was discovered in 2012, on November 2nd (hence its name). In 2015, it was the first FRB seen to repeat, ruling out theories of the bursts’ origins that involved the catastrophic destruction of the progenitor (at least in this particular instance). And in 2016, the repeater was the first FRB to have its location pinpointed with sufficient precision to allow its host galaxy to be identified. It resides in a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years away from Earth.”