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An unknown radio signal has come from space, and we need to find out what the hell it is

An unknown radio signal has come from space, and we need to find out what the hell it is

NGC 2082 is an intermediate spiral galaxy 60 million light-years from the Sun. A group of Australian astronomers have now discovered a mysterious compressed radio light source that originated from that very point in the universe.

The origin of this signal (named J054149.24–641813.7) is unknown. The data collected so far exclude the possibility that it is a supernova or a pulsar, but it is believed that it could be a target of thermal origin.

Balzan et al., 2022

Nor would it be bright enough to be a fast radio burst, another of the most mysterious physical phenomena we’ve found ourselves studying in recent decades.

The astronomers concluded that the most likely remaining possibility is that J054149.24–641813.7 is an extragalactic background source, such as a quasar, radio galaxy, or active galactic nucleus. They added that a flat spectrum index combined with a rather weak polarization would support this hypothesis.

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