Mysterious signals appear frequently. Are extraterrestrial civilizations calling for human beings? Scientists don’t know

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.

Human beings were born millions of years ago, and human civilization was formed tens of thousands of years ago. Although human civilization has lasted for more than ten thousand years, the period that really brought human beings rapid development is only a short period of more than 200 years, that is, after human beings entered the era of Science and technology.

Science and technology have a great impact on the life span of human beings. It has completely changed our way of life, and also given human civilization the opportunity to explore more mysterious things, the truth of the world and the truth behind the universe. With the help of science and technology, mankind has walked out of the earth and realized the great dream of millions of years.

When we are on the earth, human beings will not feel lonely, because we are in the world of the earth, and our cognition and feelings are limited to human civilization. However, when we go out of the earth and see the vast universe, our cognition and vision are constantly expanding, allowing us to see the infinite possibilities that may exist outside the earth.

Every astronaut going out of the earth will have a “sense of loneliness”, and as we know more and more about the universe, this “sense of loneliness” will become stronger and stronger. The origin of “loneliness” in the universe is actually our thinking about the possible existence of alien civilization in the universe.

At the moment when human beings just stepped out of the earth and saw the vast universe, scientists were thinking: does intelligent civilization like human beings exist? At the beginning, many people may have doubts about this, but with the deepening of our observation of the universe, this kind of doubt is less and less.

From the perspective of the Milky way, there are at least hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy, among which there are trillions of earth like planets. From the perspective of the universe, the galaxy is only one of the trillions of galaxies in the observable universe. Under such a large base, the probability of the non existence of extraterrestrial civilization is far less than the probability of its existence, that is to say, the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization is infinitely close to 100%.

Since the probability of the existence of alien civilizations is basically 100%, how can we find them? For this reason, scientists started the extraterrestrial civilization search project very early. As early as 1977, scientists launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Their mission is not only to explore other planets in the solar system, but also to keep going outside the solar system. They hope that one day, they will be discovered by the aliens passing through the solar system.

The Voyager spacecraft carries a disc recording information about human beings and the earth. As long as one day in the future, an alien civilization discovers Voyager, we can know the existence of human beings through the above disc, and easily find the position of the solar system through the earth coordinate information left on it.

Although Voyager’s desire to explore extraterrestrial civilization is beautiful, with the continuous progress of science and technology, we find that the probability of Voyager being discovered by extraterrestrial civilization is very small. The reason is that the real range of the solar system is far wider than that detected in the past. With their speed, it may take at least tens of thousands of years to fly out of the solar system. In tens of thousands of years, human civilization may have already become an interstellar civilization, which can easily walk out of the solar system.

It can be seen that the success rate of searching for extraterrestrial civilization by detector is basically zero. So scientists focus on another way of searching, that is, by searching for the possible existence of alien civilization signals in the universe to determine whether the existence of alien civilization. So is there a lot of radio waves in the universe? The answer is yes.

In our opinion, the universe is a very quiet space environment, but in the eyes of radio telescopes, the universe is not quiet at all, there are all kinds of radio wave signals shuttling everywhere. Most of these radio waves come from planets, stars, nebulae, supernova explosions and other natural things in the universe.

These natural radio waves from the universe are almost disorderly and meaningless, while the radio waves of extraterrestrial civilization are different. Such radio waves are very regular. As long as we can receive these regular mysterious radio waves, and then successfully crack them, it is possible to uncover the mystery of alien civilization.

Among the numerous radio waves in the universe, the most fascinating and unimaginable one is the “fast radio wave” (FRB). This kind of short and very strong, and regular radio wave, it can release amazing energy in a few milliseconds.

The emission source of “fast radio wave” is very far away from the earth, which is basically more than hundreds of millions of light-years. Such a long distance, it can also spread to the earth, which shows how powerful the energy of this kind of radio wave is. So what is this fast radio wave? Is it a natural wave of the universe or a signal of civilization? Scientists are not sure.

Since the first rapid radio wave “010724” was discovered in 2007, 110 rapid radio waves have been discovered. Most of these radio waves only burst once, and 10 of them have repeated bursts, but they do not have regular periodicity.

But that has now changed. In January 2020, team Dongzi Li from the University of Toronto, Canada, who specializes in FRB, discovered that among the spiral galaxies 500 million light-years away from the earth called “SDSS j015800.28 + 654253.0”, there is a fast radio wave named “180916.j0158 + 65”, which is very regular.

They tracked the time when the wave repeatedly erupted between September 16, 2018 and October 30, 2019, and found that it would release radio signals twice an hour. The release process lasted for four days, followed by 12 days of silence.

A regular signal that can be repeated many times has to make us think of extraterrestrial civilization. Because according to normal scientific theory, even if celestial bodies in the universe like pulsars can send out regular wireless signals, they can’t appear repeatedly. And the signals that can appear frequently, to some extent, probably can only be sent out by powerful advanced civilizations.

If this repeated rapid radio storm is indeed a civilization signal sent by advanced civilization to the earth, then we may be able to learn more about this mysterious cosmic signal. Maybe this is the cosmic super polar broadcast from the advanced civilization of the universe. If this kind of broadcast wants to spread to the very distant starry sky or even to the whole universe, the emission source must need very powerful energy.

This kind of energy is beyond our imagination. In the universe, maybe only the dominating celestial body such as black hole can hope to achieve it, and the second is relying on the power of powerful technology. Therefore, for the short-lived radio waves such as rapid radio bursts, scientists believe that they may be the broadcast of advanced civilization, or they may be the super radio waves emitted by objects such as black holes or neutron stars.

Of course, for us, it’s natural to hope that this repetitive radio signal comes from an alien civilization. But to get this conclusion, the key is to solve the mystery of this signal. If it is a signal of civilization, there must be content. If we can decipher the contents of the signal, then we can be sure that it is an alien civilization signal.

Of course, with the current scientific and technological strength of human beings, it is very difficult to really solve the mystery of this short-lived rapid radio storm. Perhaps only when human science and technology go further and have more powerful detection and cracking technology, can we hope to really explore the mystery of rapid radio storm.

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