Astronomers from Australia have detected a strange radio signal, and no one knows what it might be.
The mysterious signal, which was discovered during observations of the spiral galaxy known as NGC 2082, was reported by a team of astronomers led by Joel Balzan from the University of Western Sydney.
It appeared as a powerful point radio source in data from the Australian Square Kilometer Array (ASKAP), the Australian Compact Telescope (ATCA) and the Parkes radio telescope.
The observable galaxy is 66 million light-years away and is about 33,000 light-years across.
“We present observations of the radio continuum of NGC 2082 using the ASKAP, ATCA and Parkes telescopes in the range from 888 MHz to 9000 MHz,” the researchers write in a paper on the discovery.
“About 20 arcs from the center of this nearby spiral galaxy, we detected a bright and compact radio source J054149.24-641813.7 of unknown origin.”
Although the nature and origin of the mysterious radio source remain unknown, it is important not to rush to conclusions – most unexplained sources turn out to be pulsars, nebulae, quasars and other similar objects, so there is no reason to immediately jump to an extraterrestrial interpretation.
There is currently a lot of work to be done to determine what this radio source might be.
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