Alien spacecraft may be creating the mysterious energy flashes that scientists have been detecting since they were first discovered in 2007. These weird energy flashes – known as Fast Radio Burts (FRBs) – are mega-intense radio pulses that last just up to one millisecond – one thousandth (0.001 or 10−3 or 1/1000) of a second.
Over the past ten years, the world’s largest and most powerful radio telescopes have detected fewer than two dozen FRBs. Nobody has been able to explain what causes them. Some people have suggested alien spacecraft as a possible cause, but nobody took them seriously, that is, until now.
The latest suggestion that a super-advanced alien spacecraft may be causing these enigmatic energy bursts has not been put forward by wishful thinking alien enthusiasts, conspiracy theorists, or UFO seekers, but by a team of eminent scientists from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Could the Fast Radio Bursts that our powerful telescopes are detecting come from ultra-advanced alien spacecraft? (Image: adapted from cfa.harvard.edu)
Alien spacecraft cannot be discounted
They say we must consider the possibility that FRBs might be evidence of extremely advanced extraterrestrials at work.
The bursts may be leaked energy from unimaginably powerful transmitters, capable of sending massive light-sail spaceships on interstellar voyages.
Just like a sail-boat uses the wind to push it forward, light-sail spaceships use beams of artificial light that hit their sails to move through space.
According to Professor Avi Loeb, an American-Israeli theoretical physicist, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University, Chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department, who currently works at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics:
“Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven’t identified a possible natural source with any confidence. An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking.”
Even if the FRBs came from advanced alien technology, they probably do not live in that part of space any more or no longer exist. They come from billions of light years away, which means that they occurred billions of years ago.
Prof. Loeb and Dr. Manasvi Lingam, who also works at Harvard University, have published the results of their study, which has been accepted for publication at Astrophysical Journal Letters. Until publication, the article – Fast Radio Bursts from Extragalactic Light Sails – can be accessed on arXiv.org (pronounced archive), a repository of electronic pre-prints of scientific papers.
Prof. Loeb and Dr. Lingam examined the feasibility of creating a radio transmitter powerful enough to be detectable across the Universe. If the transmitter were solar powered, they say, the sunlight hitting an area about twice the size of planet Earth would be enough to generate the required energy.
Technology light-years ahead of ours would be needed
Such a colossal construction project is literally centuries or even millennia away, as far as humans are concerned. However, it is within the realm of possibility “according to the laws of physics,” they explained.
The authors also considered whether such a light-intensive transmitter might melt away the underlying structure. They found that if the device, which would be twice the size of our planet, were water cooled, it could withstand the heat.
Why would any civilization build such a device? Prof. Loeb and Dr. Lingam believe the most plausible use of such colossal power might be to drive interstellar light sails. The power coming from that light would be enough to push a one-million-ton load – twenty times larger than any of our current cruise ships.
Regarding the size of such a spaceship, Dr. Lingam said:
“That’s big enough to carry living passengers across interstellar or even intergalactic distances.”
In a CfA (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) press release, the authors wrote:
“To power a light sail, the transmitter would need to focus a beam on it continuously. Observers on Earth would see a brief flash because the sail and its host planet, star and galaxy are all moving relative to us.”
“As a result, the beam sweeps across the sky and only points in our direction for a moment. Repeated appearances of the beam, which were observed but cannot be explained by cataclysmic astrophysical events, might provide important clues about its artificial origin.”
This work is speculative, Prof. Loeb admitted. When he was asked whether he really believed that any FRBs are caused by ultra-advanced aliens, he said:
“Science isn’t a matter of belief, it’s a matter of evidence. Deciding what’s likely ahead of time limits the possibilities. It’s worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge.”
Video – Fast Radio Bursts from alien spacecraft?
In this video, John Michael Godier talks about the possible origins of FRBs, including the latest suggestion put forward by the Harvard scientists.