ASTRONOMERS have edged closer to solving the mystery of cosmic radio signals which some believe come from aliens.
The strange pulses, called fast radio bursts are so intense, they emit more energy within a millisecond than the sun does in a day, a new report claims.
Stocktrek – Getty This Small Magellanic Cloud, was previously named as a source of ‘fast radio bursts’
Writing in the journal, Nature, researchers believe the object comes from an extreme environment that was “among the most highly magnetised regions of space ever observed” – three billion light-years away.
Shami Chatterjee, a senior research associate in astronomy at Cornell University said: “This is exotic. 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.
“Whatever is happening there is scary. We would not want to be there.”
The radio bursts from FRB 121102 could also originate from a young neutron star inside a powerful nebula, or a supernova remnant, the report said.
Getty Images The Hubble Telescope, which was used to take pictures of the distant galaxy through to be the source of fast radio bursts
The radio bursts were first discovered in 2007, so small even steps toward understanding their source offers big excitement for astronomers.
Until recently, many experts speculated that FRBs are produced by cataclysmic events such as stars exploding into supernovas, or neutron stars collapsing into blackholes.
While it is possible that these one-off scenarios also produce such bursts, all of them are inconsistent with multiple pulses such as those generated by FRB 121102.