Strange cosmic light flares are likely to be generated by advanced alien civilisations, according to a new study. In fact this knowledge could increase the speed of an interstellar spacecraft to amazing velocities.
Around 20 such luminous flashes (referred to as fast radio bursts (FRBs)) have been observed by astronomers, the first one was discovered in 2007.
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It is believed that other galaxies, located billions of light years away, are the sources of these flashes, but the reasons behind them still remains mystery.
"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," study co-author Avi Loeb, a theorist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement by the Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
"An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking," the statement added.
Manasvi Lingam and Loeb were the lead researchers of the study. As per their hypothesis, an enormous radio transmitter, devised by intelligent aliens, could be the origin of these light flares.
These two researchers calculated that the FRB-like signals could be emitted by a solar-powered transmitter, but for these distances, it would need an area twice the size of Earth to collect sunlight and produce the required power.
According to researchers, a giant structure may have been built by the aliens; a structure water-cooled in order to prevent itself melting due to the enormous amount of energy involved. This technology is far ahead of anything human's can muster at the moment, the statement revealed.
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The duo also claim that the aliens may have built such a structure to utilise the available energy to drive interstellar light sails. The claim the power available is enough to move a craft weighing a million tones — 20 times larger than the largest cruise ship on Earth.
"That's big enough to carry living passengers across interstellar or even intergalactic distances," added Lingam.
According to the team of researchers, extra-terrestrials responsible for the FRBs are probably looking for habitable planets in our galaxy. According to the researchers, the number of advanced alien civilisations that may exist in a galaxy like ours would be in excess of 10,000.
Researchers, however, state that aliens may not be the only reason for the FRBs.
"Science isn't a matter of belief; it's a matter of evidence," Loeb said. "Deciding what's likely ahead of time limits the possibilities. It's worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge."
The reasearch has been accepted to be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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