Astronomers say they have detected ‘strange signals’ coming from the direction of Ross 128 — a small, dim star— located about 11 light-years from Earth.
Researchers picked up the mysterious signals on May 12 using the Arecibo Observatory, a huge radio telescope built inside of a Puerto Rican sinkhole, reports the Business Insider.
In a blog post Abel Méndez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, wrote:
‘We realized that there were some very peculiar signals in the ten-minute dynamic spectrum that we obtained from Ross 128.
The signals consisted of broadband quasi-periodic non-polarized pulses with very strong dispersion-like features.
We believe that the signals are not local radio frequency interferences since they are unique to Ross 128 and observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar’, reports the Independent.
The researchers are now planning to observe Ross 128 and its surroundings many more times, beginning on July 16.
‘Success will be to find the signal again’ at the star’s location but not in surrounding directions, Professor Méndez said.
‘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.
‘Right now there’s really only one compelling signal from outer space that might come from aliens: the WOW signal’, reports dailymail.co.uk.