Unknown Signals: All You Need To Know

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With the increased use of smartphones and the internet, it is surprising to know that amateur radios have still not become a thing of the past. There is a major reason for the same.

Ham enthusiasts define it as ‘a mode of communication that works when everything else fails.’ They continue explaining that an amateur station does not require electricity and the internet, which sets it apart from other modes of communication.

But what if some unknown signals disturb this preferred mode, the whereabouts of which remain untraced?

What are the Unknown Signals?

Also known as ‘fast radio burst,’ unknown signals are defined as mysterious signals whose origin is not yet traceable. We can define them as unidentified random transmissions in unknown languages coming from outside of our galaxy. Such signals last about a millisecond and sometimes repeat.

When were they discovered?

Duncan Lorimer and his student David Narkevic were the first to discover these signals in the year 2007. It happened when they were searching through archival pulsar survey data. Since then, many amateur radio operators observed various fast radio bursts. This includes several that are detected to repeat in irregular ways.

What Causes these Signals?

Unknown signals are indeed one of the deepest mysteries of the universe. Although these are likely happening for billions of years, humans discovered them only in 2007. With no cause identified, scientists speculated that aliens could be sending them.

With all the speculation going on, scientists recently detected a pattern. According to them, these signals come from a massive spiral galaxy 500 million light-years away. One or two bursts of radio waves are sent every hour, over four days. Then everything gets calm for 12 days until the cycle repeats.

Is there any Other Explanation Behind it?

One of the primary explanations is orbital motion. As we all know that celestial bodies orbit on regular timescales, a pair of objects like a star and black hole could be responsible for the 16-day pattern.

Many are of the view that these signals generate when a giant radio pulse from an energetic neutron star is eclipsed by a companion project. Another thing to note is the possibility of that periodicity arising from the rotation of a star.

Are Aliens behind these Signals?

While speculations among astrophysicists suggest that the cause of such signals include neutron stars or black hole, a very different theory caught hold of public imagination – maybe aliens are behind these signals.

Well, scientists disagree with all these theories as there is no proof to support the same. Also, they believe that if something like this existed, it would not just stick to sending some random mysterious transmissions.

Summing Up

Ham users are noticing these unknown signals for a long period now. Even after a lot of research and arguments, the real reason behind the transmission of unknown signals remains unknown. But one thing is sure; aliens are not the reason behind these transmissions. With so much to still learn about the concept, their mechanism stays as one of the biggest mysteries.


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