Could intelligent life be trying to connect to us through radio waves? A strange phenomenon recently observed by astronomers offers the possibility.
An article published in the latest issue of Science Daily reports that after receiving repeated bursts of powerful radio signals over the past several months, astronomers have succeeded in observing the first live burst from a source about 5.5 billion light years from Earth.
While some natural causes have been ruled out, the prospect that this is being transmitted by alien life has not – yet.
“We found out what it wasn’t,” astrophysicist Daniele Malesani told Science Daily. “The fact that we did not see light in other wavelengths eliminates a number of astronomical phenomena that are associated with…exploding stars and supernovae.”
The signal from the radio wave burst was more than 20 percent circularly polarized, indicating a magnetic field in the vicinity. Astronomers believe the burst might be linked to a very compact type of object – such as neutron stars or black holes – or the bursts could be connected to collisions or “star quakes.”
Freely accessible to ZB Library cardholders, the library’s collection of e-resources and online apps includes InfoTrac Newsstand, a collection of thousands of daily news media providing breaking news of all kinds across the globe, and Reference Center Gold, a collection of thousands of magazine, journal and periodical archives.
Using the term “radio burst” in a keyword search at results in four articles on this recent phenomenon at InfoTrac Newsstand and an article at Reference Center Gold.
The ZB Library’s catalog includes books about extraterrestrial beings and life on other planets.