Scientists have revealed that they are getting readings of mysterious and powerful radio waves hitting the earth in clusters from deep space.
According to a study published in the journal Nature, existence of the pulses were discovered a decade ago and are believed to emanate from well beyond the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy,
It was previously thought that these so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs) – which can emit as much energy in a millisecond as the Sun emits in 10,000 years – were a one-off phenomena.
This is due to the fact that less than 20 have been detected since 2007, though more than 10,000 are suspected to occur every day. The new bursts are however different.
“Not only did these bursts repeat, but their brightness and spectra also differ from those of other FRBs,” said Laura Spitler, lead author and a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.
Scientists had thought that the pulse originated from something like the collision of neutron stars, sending a shockwave of energy across the universe.
It is now thought that there could be two or more sources for the frequent radio bursts. Researchers predict that the multiple pulses could also come from an “exotic object” such as a hugely powerful, rotating neutron star.
Locating the galaxy from which the serial burst came would be “critical to understanding its properties,” said Jason Hessels, a co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Amsterdam.
Pinpointing the source could also tell astronomers how long it took for the waves to reach Earth, a voyage likely measured in billions of light years.
The finding adds to other strange discoveries about the fast radio bursts that seem to indicate that there may be something unusual causing them.
Scientists said last year that some of the messages appear to be coming in a pattern — one that could even be created by alien technology.