Are we really alone in the universe? It’s a question that has plagued mankind for decades and turned into an obsessive fascination for many of our best and brightest.
But two astronomers think they may finally have all the answers. In a rather bold claim, they’ve said they have not only received communication from one alien civilisation, but 234 of them.
That’s right, 234. That’s a whole lotta alien. Back in 2012, Ermanno Borra at Laval University in Quebec suggested that extra terrestrial inhabitants may use a laser as means of communication.
If they wanted to reveal themselves to us, they could generate a signal by simply flashing a laser towards planet Earth. We would then be able to see rapid bursts of light hidden in the spectrum of their host star.
Borra’s graduate student Eric Trottier decided to do the mathematical analysis and wade through roughly 2.5 million stars (rather him than me) recorded by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. That’s where he found the 234.
What makes Borra even more sure that these alien communications are legit, is that the majority of these stars were in the same spectral class as the sun.
“We have to follow a scientific approach, not an emotional one. But intuitively – my emotion speaks now – I strongly suspect that it’s an ETI signal,” Borra said.
However, many experts in the field are a lot more sceptical, including the Breakthrough Listen project backed by Yuri Milner, Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg, which is now working on finding an alternative explanation.
And they’re not the only ones, speaking to New Scientist, Peter Plavchan, at Missouri State University in Springfield cast his doubts.
They don’t consider every natural possibility and jump prematurely to the supernatural – so to speak – conclusion. I think it’s way too premature to do that.
Andrew Siemion, the director of the SETI Research Centre at the University of California Berkeley, echoed his sentiments, adding that there is ‘no bolder claim’ than the discovery of alien life.
The SETI community has established a 0 to 10 scale for quantifying detections of life beyond the Earth called the ‘Rio Scale’ and they have rated this discovery as 0 to 1 on this scale, which pretty much says it all really.
But hey, don’t get too disheartened about all this- the truth could still be out there.