A couple of scientists from the well-respected Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics recently wrote an astrophysics paper that is so awesome, it will make you want to read an astrophysics paper. The scientists have been puzzling over some weirdly strong radio wave bursts in space, and they’ve come up with an explanation: aliens.
“An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking,” said Avi Loeb, an Israeli-American professor who worked on the study.
It all started when an astrophysicist was combing through the archives in Australia’s Parkes Observatory, and he noticed a mysterious spurt of radio activity. It was short but intense. Really intense. Like, 500 million times the power of the sun intense.
Space is full of weird light, so that’s no big deal, right? Wrong, apparently. Scientists have been trying to figure out what the burst could be for 10 years, and they still don’t know. Some think it’s a massive, particularly weird star that collapsed into its core. Or maybe it’s a solar flare that somehow managed to travel across the known universe. Or …
Yep. Aliens. At least, that’s what the Harvard-Smithsonian scientists are proposing. You can start freaking out now.
Here’s the theory: There’s a faraway alien civilization that uses artificial beams to power spaceships with light sails. They harness energy from a star and cool their beam machine with planet-sized buckets of water.
Cool, right? We’re not talking about boring, single-celled aliens here. We’re talking about an advanced civilization, way more advanced than, you know, us. Our sail-related ships are limited to the kind that stay in water.
“Deciding what’s likely ahead of time limits the possibilities,” said Loeb, an alumnus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “It’s worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge.”
It’s still a theory, but we at From the Grapevine are definitely rooting for it. Discovering alien life would mean a total change in how we view reality. Plus, we could do so much cool stuff with aliens. Like discover new things about the universe and have alien romances.