Mysterious signals detected in a distant galaxy by astronomers working for Stephen Hawking’s project to find alien life have sparked a debate over whether they could be from UFOs.
The £77m Breakthrough Listen project (BL) recently picked up 15 fast radio bursts (FRBs) from an unknown source, leading to speculation they came from neutron stars, black holes or extraterrestrial technology across the universe.
Scientists have previously observed 24 similar signals since the initiative to discover alien civilisations was set up by Professor Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner in January 2016.
BL director Andrew Siemion told The Guardian: “Whether or not fast radio bursts turn out to be signatures of extraterrestrial technology, Breakthrough Listen is helping to push the frontiers of a new and rapidly growing area of our understanding of the universe around us.”
Using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, the BL science team detected the bursts in the early hours of 26 August.
The strange, brief emissions that come from distant but unknown sources appear to line up, and often come from the same part of space, leading to speculation they could be intentional rather than the result of physical events.
The newly discovered bursts will also allow scientists to see more of what is actually happening than ever before, according to the scientists who detected them.