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Fast Radio Bursts' (FRBs) Could Be Sign of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Says Harvard Scientist

Mar 22, 2017 11:50 PM EDT
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Scientists are investigating mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs) detected by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Experts cannot rule out the theory that the signals were sent by an alien civilization.
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The never-ending search for signs of life had led to the creation of innovative machines designed to help humans perform such gargantuan task. Scientists make use of today's instruments to search the universe for life. Just like the Harvard scientists who cannot rule out the possibility that detected Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) could be signs of alien life.

The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, considered the world's largest radio telescope, detected 11 FRBs in just two months. This is the basis of two astrophysicists from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Harvard University in studying the potential alien intelligence origin of the FRBs.

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence. An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking," Avi Loeb, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement via Futurism.

Although they did not directly concur that the signals are from alien beings, they also did not dismiss the possibility of an extraterrestrial origin and launched an investigation instead. The study, courtesy of Cornell University Library, is looking into the origin of extragalactic light sail and it started with calculating the energy needed to send the signal across a great distance in space.

Based on the study, sending the said FRBs needed solar energy from a solar array with an area that is twice the surface of the Earth. An instrument of that magnitude is too much for human intelligence, therefore the alien origin is being considered.

The scientists also recognized that although it is very unlikely that aliens sent the signal, they still cannot rule out the possibility due to lack of available explanation to the signals or FRBs.

The study is also looking at means to power such equipment and it its possible to sustain an array of that magnitude. The engineering they are currently looking at is so powerful that it could power a spacecraft with a million-ton payload capacity.

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