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According to Space.com (This article and its images were originally posted on Space.com September 11, 2018 at 07:21AM.)
Last year’s mysterious outburst of deep-space light flashes was even more frenzied than previously thought, a new study reports.
On Aug. 26, 2017, astronomers with the Breakthrough Listen project — a $100 million effort to hunt for signs of intelligent alien life — spotted 21 repeating light pulses called fast radio bursts (FRBs) emanating from the dwarf galaxy FRB 121102 within the span of 1 hour.
Some scientists think FRBs come from fast-rotating neutron stars, but their source has not been nailed down. And that explains Breakthrough Listen’s interest: It’s possible that the bursts are produced by intelligent extraterrestrials, perhaps to blast space-sailing craft through the cosmos at incredible speeds, some folks have speculated. (Breakthrough Listen’s sister project, Breakthrough Starshot, is developing a laser-based light-sailing system that aims to launch tiny probes toward alien solar systems in the next 30 years.) [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Aliens]And FRB 121102, which lies about 3 billion light-years from Earth, is particularly intriguing: It’s the only known “repeater” source of FRBs, which otherwise tend to be one-offs.
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