A BBC interview with astrophysicist Elizabeth Pearson was cut short after the suggestion that radio signals picked up from beyond the Milky Way could be connected to aliens. Despite being a “slight out there” theory, it “cannot be ruled out”, believes the space expert. Ms Pearson told BBC: “So with these fast radio bursts, particularly this one that’s repeating, it’s only the second repeater that we’ve found, we can hopefully understand a bit better about what these things are. Currently, all we know is that it’s something that can produce a lot of energy, and so those things like black holes combining, or neutron stars combining, which are sort of the stage below black holes.
“Hopefully by looking at those, the new fast radio bursts, we might be able to establish whether or not it’s one of these.
“One of the slightly more out there theories is that it might be an advanced alien civilisation, but it’s more a case of we can’t rule it out than we think it’s aliens.”
News presenter Joanna Gosling remarked: “Well you know obviously, you say that’s one of the more out their theories, that’s the one that’s got everyone’s ears pricked up, that’s the headline, thank you.”
The astrophysicist began, before being cut off: “Yes it is – “
Ms Gosling said: “Oh, we lost her. But anyway that’s well, maybe, some evidence of aliens. We’ll see.”
The speculation follows repeating fast radio bursts being detected by scientists for the second time ever, coming from deep space with their origin unknown.
The majority of scientists believe they are generated by powerful astrophysical phenomena like black holes.
Professor Avid Loeb from Harvard’s Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the US said the bursts could be evidence of advanced alien technology.
The FRBs were detected first by accident in 2007 as a burst signal in radio astronomy data collected in 2001 was spotted.
The discovery was reported in the journal Nature and was made by a Canadian-led team of astronomers who were hunting for FRBs.
Last summer over three week the team found 13 flashes using a raid telescope called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (Chime).
CHIME astrophysicist Dr Ingrid Stairs from the University of British Columbia in Canada said: “Until now, there was only one known repeating FRB.
“Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there. And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they’re from and what causes them.”