For only the second time ever, a series of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) have been discovered coming from a galaxy over 1 billion light years away. The extremely rare repetition was found by scientists in British Columbia. The bursts last less than half a second, but each one produces more energy than the sun does in one year.
Scientists remain stumped on what could be releasing the bursts. There are a vast array of occurrences that radio waves in space can indicate, such as star births, supermassive black holes, and dark matter.
However, these conditions are less likely to emit a consistent repetition of radio waves.
Astrophysicist Ingrid Stairs elaborated on this for The Independent:
“Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB. Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there. And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles—where they’re from and what causes them.”
Twitter users have a theory, and it’s one you might have expected.
— JKnows → LFC (@JKn0ws) January 10, 2019
I for one welcome our new M82 Galaxy overlords
— marc blanc (@blancmarc20) January 9, 2019
please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be-
— lioness ⚔️ klance still kicks it (@knightlylioness) January 10, 2019
i welcome our new alien overlords
— ✫⌒*･ﾟミry loves a.c.e彡 (@seyocns) January 10, 2019
If the signals are coming from intelligent extraterrestrial life, humans in the United States are scared of one thing in particular.
Americans are terrified of what would happen if aliens invaded while Trump is president.
Please don’t let them know that Trump is our President
— Kat Hamilton (@katwoman_81) January 10, 2019
— Nathan Harrow (@nharrow74) January 10, 2019
They’d meet Trump, and greet him like…
“Valkrog, we’d wondered what happened to you!!!” pic.twitter.com/ZuqxDoWSUB
— Hannibal (@Uncaged2Day) January 10, 2019
Trump better open the govt and get moving on that Space Force!
— TDoc72 (@Yecart72) January 10, 2019
Tell Trump another bigger Wall is needed.
— Henry Herge (@CurtHerge) January 10, 2019
Some would be fine if they took a few of us with them.
How much would they charge to beam a few Americans up now? Just a ballpark figure.
— The Flying Piranha (@Coqui6190) January 10, 2019
They're finally coming to take me home
— K. Pac (@KPac94054821) January 10, 2019
— Adam Seeary (@adamseeary) January 10, 2019
According to scientists, extraterrestrial life is one of the less likely culprits, but the beauty of a repeating frequency is that scientists can use the patterns for clues as to what the source may be.