For alien hunters, the last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster ride. First there were tantalizing hints that so-called ‘Fast Radio Bursts’ (FRBs) scattered across the deep sky tended towards “integerized” mathematical patterns. News of this remote possibility, in turn, created a minor news flap over whether these extragalactic microwave bursts might have some artificial (non-human) origin.
But John Learned, the second author of a paper that raised the specter of communicating aliens from cosmological distances in deep space, has since thrown cold water on the idea.
the FRBs are “surely not cosmic.” In the case of FRBs it is looking less and less likely that we need to invoke extraterrestrial intelligence (E.T.I.),” Learned, a particle physicist at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, told Forbes. He now says, the FRBs are “surely not cosmic.”
In a paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters, co-author Learned and colleagues analyzed data from 11 known FRBs. After looking at the data, he says the team saw hints that they are a terrestrially-associated phenomenon and not likely to be associated with E.T.
As I noted earlier in Forbes, most FRBs have been detected using Australia’s Parkes single-dish, 64-meter radio telescope and produce a single burst of pulsed radiation that is no longer than a few milliseconds.
Learned says they seem to originate from four or five different spots on the sky and points out that there are no repeated microwave pulses from the same direction. “If we were getting a bunch of them from one direction then we’d have to think more about that [being E.T.],” said Learned.
He and colleagues are also basically ruling out a natural origin that they were some sort of colliding neutron star or highly engergetic type supernovae. Nor, they say, are such bursts likely to be galactic chirping from an exotic pulsar.
Most probably, says Learned, they are some sort of interference from government radar or satellite; maybe even reflected missile defense radio waves bouncing off the moon.Notice the wording. It doesn't sound like a definitive answer. To read more, click here.