Home » Receiving ‘heartbeat’ signals from distant galaxies sparks hopes of alien discovery | Galaxies | Heartbeat Signals | Aliens | Radio Bursts | Heartbeats | James | Webb |

Receiving ‘heartbeat’ signals from distant galaxies sparks hopes of alien discovery | Galaxies | Heartbeat Signals | Aliens | Radio Bursts | Heartbeats | James | Webb |

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Receiving ‘heartbeat’ signals from distant galaxies sparks hopes of alien discovery | Galaxies | Heartbeat Signals | Aliens | Radio Bursts | Heartbeats | James | Webb |

[Voice of Hope, September 30, 2022](Compiler: Li Yuwei)Space exploration has recently reached a new milestone with the James Webb telescope. Scientists have discovered an unusual and repetitive signal from a galaxy billions of light-years from Earth that emits as much energy in one millisecond as the sun does in 10,000 years. This burst of radio energy flashes in a heartbeat-like pattern.

Scientists reportedly say it’s a fast radio burst (FRB), a mysterious and powerful blast of energy emanating from deep space. FRBs are visible at distances of billions of light-years and scatter like radio pulsars, but the physics that cause them are unknown. The signal from this FRB was received by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (Chime) in December 2019. But instead of the milliseconds of the usual fast radio bursts, it lasted as long as three seconds, and also had very precise periodic peaks, repeating bursts of energy every 0.2 seconds, emitting—bang, bang, bang— like a heartbeat.

“There aren’t many things in the universe that emit strictly periodic signals,” said Daniele Michilli of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. ..the examples we know of in our own galaxy are radio pulsars and magnetars, which spin and produce lighthouse-like beam emissions. We think this new signal could be a magnetar or a pulsar on steroids.”

The signal, known as FRB 20191221A, is the longest-lasting FRB to date, with the clearest periodic pattern detected to date. Its source is in a distant galaxy billions of light-years from Earth. However, the source may remain a mystery.

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Scientists hope to detect more periodic signals from this source, which can then be used as astrophysical “clocks.” The frequency of bursts is believed to be a measure of how fast the universe is expanding.

When the James Webb Telescope was first launched decades ago, astronomers expected it to reveal amazing space secrets. It has taken pictures of nebulae, star systems and distant galaxies, and has the ability to peer into the origins of the universe itself, revealing the moments after the Big Bang. The telescope is not only taking pictures in space, it is also analyzing the chemical composition of interstellar objects.

University of Washington astronomer Joshua Krissansen-Totton believes that the James Webb Telescope could detect alien life in the next few years by looking at “biosignatures” in the atmospheres around planets. Just as humans have altered Earth’s atmosphere, other life forms may alter their own worlds in the same or similar ways. If the atmospheric readings brought back by the telescope correlate with our current understanding of the natural atmosphere, it could point to intelligent life.

Responsible editor: Li Jingrou

This article or program has been edited and produced by Voice of Hope. Please indicate Voice of Hope and include the original title and link when reprinting.

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