Home / news / A mysterious radio source located in a galaxy 500 million light years from Earth is pulsing on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork, according to a new study. This marks the first time that scientists have ever detected periodicity in these signals, which are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs)

A mysterious radio source located in a galaxy 500 million light years from Earth is pulsing on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork, according to a new study. This marks the first time that scientists have ever detected periodicity in these signals, which are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs)

A mysterious radio source located in a galaxy 500 million light years from Earth is pulsing on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork, according to a new study. This marks the first time that scientists have ever detected periodicity in these signals, which are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs)

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22 comments

  1. The problem with signals occurring like “clockwork” in space is that it’s usually an indicator of something natural, like something pulsating or spinning at a constant speed.

  2. Holy shit. 500 million light years is unimaginably far. If light speed travel was possible when humans first existed and we tried to travel to this radio source, we still be less than 1% of the way there

  3. Didn’t they think pulsars were alien signals at first?

  4. Some alien doesn’t want to go to work and is just hitting the snooze on his alarm clock….

  5. Me: Ooh aliens!

    A science person: Here is why it is not aliens.

    ​

    Every damn time.

  6. Clearly alien Morse Code. They’re just so long-lived that they don’t realize it will be 50 human generations before they’re done with “Greetings…”

  7. If it were aliens, good chance they’re not around anymore anyways.

  8. “Bring back the single female lawyer”

  9. That’s just a Vogon indicator, looks like they missed their exit and are making a u-turn, the demolitions for the galactic bypass will be happening on time and on budget.

  10. YO LIL ALIEN BOI WATCH OUT FOR THE GREAT FILTER! WATCH OUT FOR THEM GREAT FILTER EVENTS ALIEN BOI!!

    OH GOD OH FUCK HE GOT SPACEPODS IN HE CANT HEAR US

  11. An extremely periodic pulse of electromagnetic radiation does not suggest intelligent life if that’s what you were hoping when you read mysterious radio wave.

    Honestly I think they should have never called them radio waves while also having a simple commercial device called a radio. It’s unnecessarily confusing.

    >Now Metzger and his colleagues think they have reconstructed the crime scene. Earlier this month they [released a paper](https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.01866) on the scientific preprint site arxiv.org that sketched out a way for FRBs to arise from explosions in regions of space cluttered with dense clouds of particles and magnetic fields.

    >The model favors, but doesn’t require, a magnetar as the source of the explosions. A magnetar is a young neutron star that sometimes burps out charged particles in a supersize version of the coronal mass ejections that erupt on the sun. Each new blast plows into the surrounding clutter. When it does, it creates a shock wave, which in turn beams a short, laserlike flash of radio waves halfway across the universe.

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/astronomers-now-think-they-can-explain-fast-radio-bursts-20190228/

    Sorry if I ruined your alien party!

  12. Sending out those alien dick pics

  13. “how good is fusion power”

  14. It’s likely from a Pulsar. No aliens to see.

  15. Now imagine if scientists decipher the radio wave and find that the message is

    “execute order 66”.

  16. r/nomanssky

    For those who don’t know, 16 is something of an arc number for the game. Just saying sixteen to an alien makes them freak out for a minute.

  17. This is the best tl;dr I could make, [original](https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxexwz/something-in-deep-space-is-sending-signals-to-earth-in-steady-16-day-cycles) reduced by 81%. (I’m a bot)
    *****
    > If the source of the FRB is orbiting a compact object, such as a black hole, then it might only flash its signals toward Earth at a certain point in its orbital period.

    > Another scenario is that the FRB rhythm isn't tempered by another object, and is sending out the pulses directly from the source.

    > Scientists have previously suggested that flares from highly magnetized neutron stars, called magnetars, might be the source of some FRBs. But since magnetars tend to rotate every few seconds, a 16-day cycle does not match the expected profile of a magnetar-based FRB. Ultimately, the CHIME/FRB team hopes to find similar patterns in the handful of known repeating bursts to see if these cycles are common.

    *****
    [**Extended Summary**](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/f0lkaj/a_mysterious_radio_source_located_in_a_galaxy_500/) | [FAQ](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/31b9fm/faq_autotldr_bot/ “Version 2.02, ~466431 tl;drs so far.”) | [Feedback](http://np.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%23autotldr “PM’s and comments are monitored, constructive feedback is welcome.”) | *Top* *keywords*: **FRB**^#1 **Burst**^#2 **source**^#3 **scientists**^#4 **cycle**^#5

  18. If an alien wanted to signal for life the best thing would be pulses at prime numbers. Flash on and off at (1, 3, 5, 7, ECT) and once it got to be more than a week or month between pauses you just reset. No system would EVER have that setup.

  19. I wonder what those aliens are trying to tell us, but here on Earth what could we tell them? – “yea, we hear ya but there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it – so what’s the problem? Climate change? Or is some tyrant running your country?”

  20. Remind me in 500 million light years.

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