It’s unclear if the signals, observed over a 30-minute period, emanate from black holes, rotating neutron stars, or if they represent signs of alien life.
Hawking founded the Breakthrough Listen project to investigate — and identify — signs of intelligent life in the universe. Russian internet billionaire Yuri Milner is also behind the initiative.
The 15 signals came from FRB 121102. Astronomers had previously detected radio pulses coming from the same source.
But the recent signals were observed at a higher frequency than previous signals.
Breakthrough Listen postdoctoral researcher Vishal Gajjar discovered the activity, which was reported by the Astronomer’s Telegram.
“These are the highest frequency and widest bandwith detections of bursts from FRB 121102 obtained to-date,” the report said. “These observations may indicate FRB 121102 is currently in a heightened activity state, and follow-on observations are encouraged, particularly at higher radio frequencies.”