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.
@Independent https://t.co/RhaUbxaBx9— Jay (@Jay)1547088017.0
@Independent I for one welcome our new M82 Galaxy overlords— marc blanc (@marc blanc)1547059876.0
@Independent please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be voltron please be vo… https://t.co/PWI6oOmfRS— . . . (@. . .)1547126920.0
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.
@Independent Please don’t let them know that Trump is our President— Kat Hamilton (@Kat Hamilton)1547089249.0
@Independent Whatever you do, don't tell #trump. If he hears about this, he'll demand another 5 billion for… https://t.co/Me0H9KIIE0— Nathan Harrow #FBPE (@Nathan Harrow #FBPE)1547087553.0
@WilliamPora @Independent They’d meet Trump, and greet him like... “Valkrog, we’d wondered what happened to you!!!” https://t.co/ZuqxDoWSUB— Hannibal (@Hannibal)1547089466.0
@Independent @JohnFugelsang Trump better open the govt and get moving on that Space Force!— TDoc72 (@TDoc72)1547089269.0
@Independent Tell Trump another bigger Wall is needed.— Henry Herge (@Henry Herge)1547089267.0
Some would be fine if they took a few of us with them.
@Independent @MyOpenMind101 How much would they charge to beam a few Americans up now? Just a ballpark figure.— The Flying Piranha (@The Flying Piranha)1547131818.0
@Independent OMG They're finally coming to take me home WOOHOO— K (@K)1547098011.0
@Independent https://t.co/eso4Okqs11— Adam Seeary (@Adam Seeary)1547099703.0
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.