One of the great questions in science and the wider universe is are we alone? Is there other life out there? Some say that there is no life because the probability of us existing is already so small that the chance of life on another planet to our degree of intelligence is almost impossible. Others argue that the universe is so vast it would be sheer arrogance to assume that we are the only living intelligent life on it. Yet if there is life out there how come we haven’t heard from them or seen any existence that they exist? A new discovery may help to answer that question. Recently some strange radio signals were discovered that have got scientists very excited.
Humans have a number of attributes that allow us to communicate. We have mouths to talk, ears to hear and eyes to see. This facilities communication between our species very well and is the key reason we have developed and evolved so well. However, if there is life on another planet who knows what strange methods they use to communicate. They could be able to send brainwaves, they could use vibrations, they could use light patterns. We have no idea. That means that we could be witnessing communications from other planetary species all the time and we have no idea. Perhaps every time we look at a strange cloud formation we are actually looking at a giant banner asking us to say hello. Unlikely but a little bit possible.
These are the thoughts that I have late at night driving my car. When I am flicking between stations and finding radio static my mind starts to wonder. Occasionally I flick to a station and it does not sound like a clear signal here on Earth but it is not static either. It sounds like something coming from far away.
While I may just be going crazy scientists now say that they pick up strange signals from outer space all the time and they can’t explain what they are. These signals are known as Fast Radio Bursts or FRBs. They usually last less than 1/1000th of a second and their patterns are hard to track.
Scientists are getting better and better at pinpointing these signals though and have started to find more. They believe that the majority of these signals are electromagnetic radiation caused by black holes, neutron stars, or supernovas. I don’t know about you but I am getting a little tired of scientists assuming everything is caused by a black hole.
Last year a signal that repeats was found. It was coming from a galaxy 500 million light-years away and astronomers have no idea what could be causing it. Scientists say that they need to find many more of these signals before they can start to understand what causes them and why we are picking them up. No one has mentioned the possibility that it is alien life trying to communicate with us but we must all be thinking it. The source of the signal was 500- million light-years away but the signal itself was found only 7 light-years away. Perhaps this other alien species have figured out how to send the signal 493 million light-years and are just about to discover us. Again unlikely but incredibly exciting.
The discovery currently raises more questions than answers but scientists say that these FRBs will allow them to learn more about the universe and what it contains. Space contains so much that we don’t know and don’t understand. It appears that we may start to get more answers very soon.