ASTRONOMERS have edged closer to solving the mystery of cosmic radio signals which some believe come from aliens. Recently, an global team of astronomers has advanced a step closer to solving this big question mark associated with the blasts that occur far away in the space. In a flash lasting less than a millisecond, this burst source radiates enough energy to equal our sun's output for an entire day.
Routine observation of the radio bursts provided an evidence of the presence of more than 10,000 bursts on a daily basis. Out of these 10,000, scientists could only determine one burst that was repeated in a sporadic fashion which was termed as FRB 121102.
A new report shows the intensity of the odd pulses called fast radio bursts (FRBs) have become more extreme - meaning the blasts emit more energy in a single millisecond than our sun does all day. The scientists have speculated that these sounds could also come from the formation of a young star amidst a strong nebula or maybe even the remnant of a supernova. If we had one of these on the other side of our own galaxy - the Milky Way - it would disrupt radio here on Earth, and we'd notice, as it would saturate the signal levels on our smartphones. The event that is taking place far beyond in space causing the emission of these bursts is far too scary to be seen up close pertaining to the intensity of energy.
The very first radio bursts in space were discovered in the year 2007.
Laura Spitler, discovered FRB 121102 in 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher when she sifted through 2012 data from Arecibo acquired by the Pulsar Arecibo L-Band Feed Array survey that searches for pulsars and transient sources.
"It's remote sensing from three billion light years away", said James Cordes, a professor of astronomy at Cornell in the university's statement.
"We're directly probing the local environment of a source in a galaxy billions of light-years away", Emily Petroff of ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, told National Geographic.
The mysterious burst lasted three one-thousandths of a second. The data was culled from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and confirmed by Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia.
The home galaxy of FRB 121102 is located 3 billion light-years from Earth; at this distance, the bursts must be almost 100 million times more powerful than the Sun to be seen from Earth. An in-depth study of these new found data shall allow the astronomers to provide a rather specific explanation about the neighboring environment of the source of these radio bursts and more specifically, the FRB 121102.