Astronomers discovered and analyzed the signal within seconds, but do not know where it comes from.
Astronomers have listened for radio signals from space for many years. It could be that someone out there are sending messages to us.
On May 14. 2014, the Parkes telescope picked up what the astronomers call a fast radio pulse.
Fast radio pulses lasts only a few milliseconds. Astronomers have discovered such pulses earlier but do not know what sends them or where they come from.
The only thing they are reasonably sure of is that they are sent from a place outside our own galaxy.
The signal was discovered just seconds after it reached Earth.
- Signals like these are usually detected weeks, months or maybe even a decade after we have received them. We are the first to discover one at the moment it reached us, Emily Petroff writes on the website of the Parkes Observatory.
Instead of trying to interpret data from the "archive", scientists could for the first time immediately point 12 other telescopes towards the part of the sky where the signal came from.
- We conducted the fastest and most comprehensive study of a rapid radio pulse ever, the researchers wrote in the article about the incident, published on January 19, 2015.
They found out how the signal was composed, that it came from a place 5.5 billion light years away, but do not know what (or who) it was that sent it.
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