The series of radio waves was discovered by the Parkes telescope in Australia in April and May last year – with one official describing him as the first heavyweight candidate for contact with additional terrestrials from a story famous 1977 ‘Wow! signal ‘. Despite extensive analysis, scientists have not yet identified an earth source for the signal – for example, ground-based equipment, or satellite.
Astronauts working for the Breakthrough Listen project often detect strange radio waves using the Parkes telescope, as well as the West Virginia Green Bank Observatory – although they have all been proven to be the result of human signals. , or due to natural causes.
However, for the latest episode, they are particularly interesting because the signal appears to come from Proxima Centauri, a red star just 4.2 light-years away.
An individual in the astronomy community, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian: “This is the first major candidate from the ‘Wow!’ Sign.”
They were referring to a narrowband radio signal built by the Big East Radio Observatory in Ohio more than 40 years ago.
It was named after astronaut Jerry Ehman who was so amazing that he wrote “Wow!” next to the data – although he later warned not to jump to “big decisions from semi-big data”.
The £ 74million ($ 100million) Breakthrough Listen project is tasked with finding intelligent external communications in the universe.
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“The nature of the source can be identified by looking further from radio telescopes elsewhere – where the terrestrial intervention should be different.
“It is too early at this stage to draw conclusions about our aspirations in space based on the available information.”
Pete Worden, former director of Nasa ‘s Ames Research Center in California as well as executive director of the Breakthrough Initiatives, said: “The Breakthrough Listen team has discovered a number of unusual signals and they are examine carefully.
“These indications appear to suggest that we cannot yet fully explain them. Further analysis is currently underway.”
Proxima Centuari, which is too weak to be seen with the naked eye, is a member of the Alpha Centauri system.
The average density is about 33 times greater than the Sun, and one-eight the mass.
The star system has two known planets.
The density of Proxima Centauri b, tested in 2016, is at least 1.17 times greater than that on Earth, and orbits the star in about 11.2 days on Earth.
Proxima Centauri c, a superhero discovered last year, takes 1,900 days to orbit the star.
Although the first planet is within the star’s arable zone, the frequency of solar flames makes scientists skeptical about the existence of life.