Astronomers from the Breakthrough Listen project for the first time recorded several repetitions of the mysterious radio signal FRB 121102, the source of which is supposedly in the galaxy three billion light years from the Earth, the press service of the fund Breakthrough Initiative.
“We observed the alleged sources of FRB outbreaks as part of our program to find traces of extraterrestrial intelligence from the nearest stars.In the early morning of Saturday, August 26, astronomer Vishal Gajjar from the University of California at Berkeley, observed FRB 121102 using a telescope at Green Banks. In total, he and other project participants managed to fix 15 new outbreaks originating from FRB 121102, which confirmed that the source exists and disclosed several previously unknown features of it, “the fund says.
Astronomers started talking about the existence of mysterious radio-burst (FRB) bursts in 2007, when they were accidentally discovered during observations of radio pulsars with the help of the Parks (Australia) telescope.
In subsequent years, scientists managed to find traces of nine more similar bursts, a comparison of which showed that they can be of artificial origin and even potentially be signals of extraterrestrial civilizations due to unexplained periodicity in their structure.
In the spring of last year, scientists found that the source of one of these FRB-flares was an elliptical galaxy located 6 billion light-years from the Milky Way, which led them to conclude that such bursts are produced during the confluence of neutron stars or other compact objects that turn into black hole. Subsequently, astrophysicists discovered that FRB-flashes are repeated, thereby putting these theories in doubt.
The astronomers participating in the Breakthrough Listen project, created two years ago to search for traces of extraterrestrial life by Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking, confirmed that the source FRB 121102, discovered in the constellation of the Auriga by the Parks telescope about five years ago, really emits repeated beams of radio waves, he had several new properties that made the fast radio flares even more mysterious.
As scientists note, one of the main features of these flares was the fact that the peak of their radiation falls at approximately the same frequencies as microwave ovens and wireless data transmission systems. It turned out that some FRB-bursts have one more high-frequency component, which scientists did not notice before.
Its discovery, according to the project participants, complicates the search for a “natural” explanation of how such outbreaks could have occurred. In addition, this problem is aggravated by the fact that all 15 outbreaks discovered by Gayjar and his colleagues were recorded in just an hour of observation, which puts even greater restrictions on their possible sources.