What's the Deal With Those “Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts from Deep Space”? - Snopes.com
Snopes.com - Sat 12 Jan 03:33 GMT

What's the Deal With Those “Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts from Deep Space”? - Snopes.com

Despite what you may have read on the internet, several explanations are more likely than aliens.

  On 9 January 2019, a Canadian-led team of astronomers working with a radio telescope dubbed CHIME, published a study announcing the second recorded instance of a repeating “Fast Radio Burst,” or FRB.

  These millisecond-long bursts of electromagnetic radiation, necessarily produced by extremely high energy events, arrive at Earth from sources billions of light years away, where they are detected by large radio telescope arrays.

  If you heard about this discovery from an outlet other than Nature, however, you may have gotten the impression that a leading hypothesis for the source of these radio bursts was some sort of alien technology: Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts from Deep Space ‘Could Be Aliens’ (The Guardian) Mysterious Repeating Radio Signals Have Reached Earth from a Galaxy 1.5 Billion Light Years Away (But Are They Evidence of Alien Civilisations?)

  In 2017 (in a paper unrelated to the study currently being reported on), Loeb suggested a possible source of FRBs could be an alien civilization beaming radio waves for the purpose of propelling far away light sails, thin objects accelerated by solar radiation pressure.

  That knowledge allowed the team a sense of the energy behind the event that produced the radio waves, as she described in Science News in January 2017: “For roughly five milliseconds, the burst outshined all the stars in its own galaxy and rivaled the luminosity of blazing disks of gas that swirl around supermassive black holes, said Burke-Spolaor, one of the researchers involved with the project.”