NASA Detects Mysterious 'Unexpected' Signal Coming From Outside Our Galaxy

Astronomers at NASA have found an unexplained "signal" that appears to be originating from outside of our galaxy.

When the scientists discovered the enigmatic signal, they were reviewing 13 years' worth of data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

"An unexpected and as yet unexplained feature outside of our galaxy," NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's Francis Reddy stated.

Gamma rays are enormous bursts of intense light that are thousands to hundreds of billions of times brighter than what human eyes can see. These can be detected by the powerful telescope. They are frequently produced by nuclear explosions or stellar explosions. They were searching for something else totally when they happened onto the other signal.

Presenting the results to the American Astronomical Society, cosmologist Alexander Kashlinsky of the University of Maryland and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center remarked, "It is a completely serendipitous discovery."

"We found a much stronger signal, and in a different part of the sky than the one we were looking for."

They had been looking for the cosmic microwave background, or CMB, one of the first gamma-ray signatures thought to have contributed to the formation of the first atoms.

One end of the CMB's dipole structure is busier and hotter than the other. Most astronomers believe that the structure is created by the motion of our solar system.

Rather, a signal with about the same magnitude and direction as another unexplained characteristic was found by the researchers, including some of the most energetic cosmic particles they had ever seen.

According to Goddard astronomer Chris Shrader, "we found a gamma-ray dipole, but its peak is located in the southern sky, far from the CMB's, and its magnitude is 10 times greater than what we would expect from our motion."

A report summarizing the results was released this week in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

They believe the finding may be connected to a cosmic gamma-ray signature that was seen in 2017 at the Argentine Pierre Auger Observatory.

Given their comparable structures, the astronomers think the two events might come from a single, unnamed source.

They intend to find the enigmatic origin or come up with other theories to account for these two characteristics.

Astronomers may be able to validate or refute theories on the formation of the dipole structure using NASA's surprising discovery.

According to Fernando Atrio-Barandela, a coauthor of the study report, "a disagreement with the size and direction of the CMB dipole could provide us with a glimpse into physical processes operating in the very early universe, potentially back to when it was less than a trillionth of a second old."

NASA did not respond to BI's request for comment right away.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.