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posted by on Thursday April 02 2015, @08:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the leave-a-message-after-the-beep dept.

BURSTS of radio waves flashing across the sky seem to follow a mathematical pattern. If the pattern is real, either some strange celestial physics is going on, or the bursts are artificial, produced by human – or alien – technology.

Telescopes have been picking up so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs) since 2001. They last just a few milliseconds and erupt with about as much energy as the sun releases in a month. Ten have been detected so far, most recently in 2014, when the Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, caught a burst in action for the first time. The others were found by sifting through data after the bursts had arrived at Earth. No one knows what causes them, but the brevity of the bursts means their source has to be small – hundreds of kilometers across at most – so they can't be from ordinary stars. And they seem to come from far outside the galaxy.

The weird part is that they all fit a pattern that doesn't match what we know about cosmic physics.

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  • (Score: 2) by francois.barbier on Thursday April 02 2015, @12:10PM

    by francois.barbier (651) on Thursday April 02 2015, @12:10PM (#165791)

    We are not even a Kardashev [] Type I civilization. A Type III would do that easily.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by FatPhil on Thursday April 02 2015, @02:31PM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday April 02 2015, @02:31PM (#165834) Homepage
    And as we creep up from Sagan's 0.7 estimate towards 1.0 we'll be all puffed up with our own intelligence. Until we realise we have mechanism for getting above 1.0, and we suddenly J-curve back down to 0 again...

    Being less pessimistic, I think we might reach level 3 by harnessing all the energy of those angels as they dance on a pinhead.
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves