Unusual radio signals detected from Ross 128 star located about 11 light-years-away

Updated On : 19 Jul , 2017 , 06:23 PM
Astronomers detect bizarre radio signals coming from red dwarf star (Representational picture)
Astronomers detect bizarre radio signals coming from red dwarf star (Representational picture)
Washington:

Onece again, mysterious radio signals coming from a star located about 11 light-years-away have been detected by astronomers, who have been left baffled. Researchers said a small and dim red dwarf star called Ross 128 (GJ 447) is sending out strange signals. This star is 2,800 times dimmer than the Sun and is not yet known to have any planets.

Astronomers at the University of Puerto Rico detected the bizarre radio signals in May. They used the Arecibo Observatory, a massive radio telescope built inside of a Puerto Rican sinkhole.

However, Abel Mendez, an astrobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo said that the possibility that the strange signals came from intelligent extraterrestrial life cannot be ruled out yet.

"In case you are wondering, the recurrent aliens hypothesis is at the bottom of many other better explanations," Mendez told 'Business Insider'.He also said that the source of the signals could be some kind of manmade object in space, such as a satellite.

"The field of view of (Arecibo) is wide enough, so there is the possibility that the signals were caused not by the star but another object in the line of sight," Mendez said.

The signals were picked up in ‘almost periodic’ bursts and further investigation is required to figure out the original source of the signals, researchers said.

"The SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] groups are aware of the signals," Professor Méndez told Business Insider.

Reporting his findings in a personal blog post, Professor Méndez said “we have never seen satellites emit bursts like that' and noted that the signals 'very peculiar'”.

Professor Méndez said he heard the signals over a ten-minute period at 8.53PM ET (1.53AM BST) and wrote that they were 'unique to Ross 128'.

He added: “Observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar. Success will be to find the signal again' at the star's location but not in surrounding directions. If we don't get the signal again then the mystery deepens.”

Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, told Business Insider that the group is “well aware of the signals”. “The chances are high that they're terrestrial interference, in fact. That's really always been the case,” said Dr Shostak.

ALSO READ | Scientists confused after mysterious cosmic radio waves detected from outer space

“Right now there's really only one compelling signal from outer space that might come from aliens: the WOW signal.”

First Published : Monday, July 17, 2017 06:25 PM
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