A mysterious radio signal which, for unknown reasons, seems to repeat every 16 days has now been detected by scientists. As Fox News reports:
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are perhaps the most mysterious anomaly in space, with many having unknown origins. According to a new study, an FRB has been spotted coming from a galaxy 500 million light-years from Earth and it’s repeating every 16 days.
And no one knows why.
Known as FRB 180916.J0158+65, this FRB sends out radio wave bursts for a period of four days, stops for a period of 12 days, then repeats itself. The initial 28 patterns were first observed between September 2018 and October 2019, according to a pre-published study. “We conclude that this is the first detected periodicity of any kind in an FRB source,” the researchers wrote in the study.
“The found location is radically different from the previously located repeating FRB, but also different from all previously studied FRBs,” said Kenzie Nimmo, a doctoral student at the University of Amsterdam, in a statement. “The differences between repeating and non-repeating fast radio bursts are thus less clear and we think that these events may not be linked to a particular type of galaxy or environment. It may be that FRBs are produced in a large zoo of locations across the universe and just require some specific conditions to be visible.”
It remains unknown just what might be the source of the signal, though researchers noted that it likely had “a mechanism for periodic modulation” meaning it likely wasn’t a randomly generated, or naturally occurring phenomena. This in turn has led other researchers to speculate that the signal may indeed be from some kind of, as of yet undiscovered, extraterrestrial civilization.