FRB 121102, a fast radio burst signal first picked up in 2012, was just observed emitting many new bursts of energy. Scientists from SETI and Breakthrough Listen are all over this and are pondering its cause.
ZME Science quotes Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and of the Breakthrough Listen program, who said "Bursts from this source have never been seen at this high a frequency.”
On Saturday, UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Dr. Vishal Gajjar used the Breakthrough Listen backend instrument at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to target FRB 121102 once again. After observing for five hours and across the entire 4 to 8 GHz frequency band, Gajjar and the Listen team analyzed the 400 terabytes of data gathered and found 15 new pulses from FRB 121102.
If you're interested in the Breakthrough program, check out their website.
So, does this mean there's the exciting possibility of extraterrestrial life out there beaming Fast Radio Bursts out into space? Possibly, but this doesn't appear to be an event that demonstrates a greater likelihood than previously thought. These signals came from Three billion light years away. Three billion (with a "b"). The amount of energy required to generate a radio wave to travel that distance is...well, beyond my comprehension. Which doesn't mean that another life form couldn't do it, but it is much more likely to be cause by some nuclear event of amazing proportions such as a quasar. A current, popular theory being explored is whether these FRBs are the result of a collision between two black holes (an event too amazing for me to quite fathom). But these are the epic-level forces of nature that astro-physicists (the people who know a good deal more about this stuff than yours truly) are currently pondering.