Foreign radio signals from a star are detected

Something “peculiar” happens in Ross 128 to 11 light-years away

Caltech

“Very peculiar signals ” coming from a star just 11 light years away were observed recently, scientists in Puerto Rico reported.

The mystery has gripped internet as speculation increases about the discovery potential for extraterrestrial life in the red dwarf known as Ross 128, despite attempts by astronomers to curb those rumors.

“In case you’re wondering, the recurring hypothesis of extraterrestrials is at the end of many better explanations,” Abel Méndez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo, said in a blog post.

Something unusual was first noticed in April and May, when the team studied a series of small, relatively cool red dwarf stars, some of which are known to have planets around them.

Ross 128 is not known to have planets, but “we realized there were some very peculiar signals in the 10-minute dynamic spectrum we got” from this star, Mendez said.

The signals were observed May 13 at 00H53 GMT and “consisted of non-polarized broadband quasi-periodic pulses with very strong scattering characteristics,” he wrote.

There are three main explanations for these bursts: they may be emissions similar to solar flares, they may be emissions from another object in the Ross 128 field of vision, or they could come from a high-orbiting satellite, Mendez wrote.

Scientists at the Arecibo Observatory, along with astronomers at the SETI extraterrestrial life search institute, will use the Alien Telescope Array and the Green Bank Telescope to observe the star for the second time on Sunday.

The results of these observations should be published at the end of the week, he said.

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