GLEAM-X J162759.5-523504.3 (what a charming name!) is not very far from Earth (on an astronomical scale), exactly 4000 light years from our solar system. Despite this short distance, GLEAM intrigues scientists, who have been wondering for a few days about the strange activity of this space object whose exact identity is still unknown.
Astronomers from Curtin University in Perth (Australia) have indeed realized that over certain prolonged periods of time, GLEAM emits radio waves lasting 30 to 60 seconds… every 18.8 minutes, like a metronome overall space. The scientists then looked into the archives of observations from the Australian Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope, and noticed with some amazement that the data collected referenced 71 GLEAM pulsations!
3D rendering of a Pulsar
Natasha Hurley-Walker, one of the astronomers who looked into this strange case, explains that the “blinking” space object displays an incredible level of brightness: “The brightness here is really crazy – really, really, really extreme. We didn’t expect to find something so brilliant. » Never before had the scientific community been confronted with such an observation. By deduction, however, it is estimated that GLEAM must necessarily turn on itself and have an ultra-powerful magnetic field to pulse in this way. These characteristics could a priori place GLEAM in the category of pulsar or magnetar, but it seems unlikely that such objects can have the energy necessary to pulse every 18 minutes.
Are the aliens left then? Natasha Hurley-Walker is adamant on this point: “I was worried it was extraterrestrials, but… it’s over a very wide range of frequencies, and that means it must be a natural process – it’s not an artificial signal.”