Fast radio bursts , brief bright pulses of radio emission, coming from distant but largely unknown sources are being spied on by Breakthrough Listen , an initiative to find signs of intelligent life.
FRB 121102 is the only known one to be displayed repeatedly: more than 150 high-energy bursts have been observed from the object identified last year as a dwarf galaxy some 3 billion light-years from Earth.
The nature of these events is unknown, but some hypotheses ranging from explosions of spinning neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields are considered. But do not rule out that the source is an intelligent civilization .
Observations show for the first time that fast radio bursts emit at higher frequencies than previously observed. As Breakthrough Listen postdoctoral researcher Vishal Gajjar , responsible for the finding, explains:
In addition to confirming that the source is in a re-active state, the high resolution of the data obtained by the Listen instrument will allow the properties of these mysterious bursts to be measured with higher precision than ever before (…) The extraordinary capabilities of the receiver capable of recording several gigahertz of bandwidth at the same time, are divided into billions of individual channels, allow a new view of the frequency spectrum of FRBs and should shed additional light on the processes that give rise to the FRB issue.