Aliens exist. Let’s just get that out of the way right now.
It’s pretty much just statistics. Out of the billions upon billions of planets in the universe, we definitely aren’t the only intelligent lifeforms out there.
So that makes it all the more exciting when scientists uncover signals they can’t explain…
Well that’s what has just happened, after a radio signal was intercepted at the Arecibo Observatory from a star just 11 light-years away!
The star, called Ross 128, has not been explored a great deal so this is really exciting stuff.
The fact that these radio signals came out in ‘periodic bursts’ has really stumped Professor Abel Méndez, an astrobiologist from the University of Puerto Rico.
We are still trying to figure out the origin of strange signal we got from a nearby star ?, but … pic.twitter.com/qiz5004D6m
— Prof. Abel Méndez (@ProfAbelMendez) June 25, 2017
He said that there are a few potential reasons for the bursts, including the very boring possibility that it was just satellites getting in the way of the telescope.
It could also be solar flares, a burst of energy from the star which could interfere with readings.
However, both of these explanations come with their complications.
Professor Méndez explains in a personal blog post that he has never seen a satellite emit frequencies like that, so it’s unlikely the radio bursts were made by human hands.
He also noted that normally solar flares occur at much lower frequencies than the radio signals that were picked up.
There aren’t even that many other objects in space between Earth and Ross 128 so that puts that explanation near the bottom of the pile too.
While he said the alien hypothesis is unlikely, it isn’t something they are ruling out so early on.
To try and uncover the real reason behind the frequencies, the Professor and his team are working in conjunction with other groups to try and decipher the source.
They are now observing the star closely to see if there’s a repeat of the signal, at which point they will be better equipped to analyse what it could possibly be.
Professor Méndez is being pretty cool about the situation, saying:
I have a Piña Colada ready to celebrate if the signals result to be astronomical in nature.
The truth is out there guys.