Sydney: Australian scientists discovered a spinning object in the Milky Way, which was unknown to the scientific world before. The object, spotted by an undergraduate student, was observed to be emitting high blasts of radio energy thrice every hour, Agence France-Presse.
After the student's discovery, senior scientists conducted a probe into the phenomena, and astrophysicist Natasha Hurley-Walker who led them, said that the radio pulse comes at every 18.18 minutes. She added that though there are other objects in the universe that goes on and off, like pulsars, but the 18.18 minutes frequency was never spotted before.
She added that finding the object was spooky for astronomers since nothing known in the sky has ever behaved like it.
The research team, which is trying to understand the object, has so far established that it is around 4,000 light-years away from Earth, very bright and has an extreme magnetic field.
Hurley Walker further said that the object should not have such power to produce radio waves every 20 minutes because it is "impossible". It could be something researchers have theorised but have never seen and called an "ultra-long period magnetar".
Scientists say it could be possible the thing is a white dwarf, the remains of a collapsed star. But Hurley Walker admits that that too is unusual as the astronomers knew only one white dwarf pulsar. She said it could be something that they had never even thought of.
When she was asked if there was any chance the frequent radio signal could be from aliens, Walker said she was concerned so at first. The research team observed signals from a long range of frequencies, proving it was rather a natural process.
Now on, astronomers will look for similar objects across the sky, and more detections will answer whether the object is a rare event or a new item they never noticed before. Their report is published in the journal Nature.