In 2007, astronomers detected a repeating radio signal from space, which was named Fast Radio Burst (FRB) 121102. Since then, more than 150 FRBs have been detected, and researchers have been studying these mysterious signals to understand their origin and properties.
One of the biggest challenges in studying FRBs is their unpredictable nature. They last for only a few milliseconds and come from distant galaxies, making it difficult to pinpoint their exact location. However, in recent years, astronomers have discovered a small number of repeating FRBs, which has allowed them to study these signals more closely.
Radio signal comes from 12 light-years away
Astronomers have found a repeating radio signal from the star YZ Ceti and its orbiting exoplanet located 12 light-years away from Earth, according to CNN. The signal could suggest that the Earth-size planet may be surrounded by a magnetic field and perhaps even an atmosphere.
Researchers believe the radio signal is the outcome of interactions between the planet’s magnetic field and the star.
Detecting magnetic fields on smaller planets the size of Earth is difficult because magnetic fields are invisible, but strong radio waves could indicate the presence of a magnetic field. The findings could point to other worlds outside of our solar system that potentially have the ability to support life.
Joe Pesce, who is the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s program director, stated as CNN quotes:
The search for potentially habitable or life-bearing worlds in other solar systems depends in part on being able to determine if rocky, Earth-like exoplanets actually have magnetic fields,
This research shows not only that this particular rocky exoplanet likely has a magnetic field but provides a promising method to find more.
There are various theories about the origin of FRBs, including neutron stars, black holes, and even extraterrestrial intelligence. However, scientists have not yet been able to determine the exact cause of these signals. The discovery of repeating FRBs has opened up new avenues of research, and astronomers are continuing to work on understanding these mysterious signals from space.
The new study was published in Nature Astronomy.