Is NASA in contact with extraterrestrials

SETI research Extraterrestrial signal reaches earth

The news comes from the British newspaper The Guardian: Scientists are studying a signal that has reached us from space. It appears to come from our closest star, Proxima Centauri. In the newspaper it says:

The narrow beam of radio waves was captured during 30-hour observations through the Parkes Telescope in Australia in April and May last year. Analysis of the beam has been going on for some time, and scientists have not yet been able to identify an earthly culprit, such as ground-based equipment or a satellite flying by.

The Guardian, Ian Sample

The researchers have not yet been able to decipher the signal. But that's not because it's a signal in a foreign alien language. Before the researchers could come to a final conclusion, they were leaked. The information was made public before the analyzes were completed. This is bad for two reasons: On the one hand, the researchers have been robbed of their media-effective publication. On the other hand, the news invites you to speculate and dream.

What do we know so far?

The Parkes Telescope in Australia received a signal in April and May 2019. The telescope was pointed in the direction of the closest star, Proxima Centauri. The investigation period was 26 hours. During this time, a narrow beam of radio waves was received.

Radio wave bursts are not uncommon. After all, such waves are sent from the earth into space every day. We have also placed a number of satellites in orbit. So it may well be that you come across a human signal.

However, some things are unusual about this signal. It is on a very narrow band of the radio spectrum, equal to 982.002 megahertz. A region that is typically devoid of transmissions from man-made satellites and spacecraft. It also appears to be a frequency shift normally caused by the movement of a planet. The signal is also coming from an unusual direction. Proxima Centauri shouldn't actually send out such signals.

The signal has not been observed since then.

This is Proxima Centauri

Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star - the smallest and therefore very faint stars. You cannot see it with the naked eye. It is about 4.2 light years away from us. A stone's throw for astronomical standards.

So far, at least two planets are known to orbit it. Planet Proxima c is a gas giant discovered in 2019. It is said to have seven times the mass of the earth. It is also in an icy 5.2-year orbit.

A study by the US space agency NASA shows the possible opposite. For this purpose, a computer model was created in 2017 that shows an earth-like atmosphere on Proxima b. The intense radiation and solar flares released by its parent star could destroy it. The four billion year old planet could, according to the calculations, lose its entire atmosphere within 100 million years.

Who or what could have caused the signal?

Exactly where it comes from is not yet known. The scientists in charge told Scientific American magazine that they still had a lot of work to do. However, the interest in the signal is justified.

The signal has some unique properties that have resulted in it passing many of our tests and we cannot explain it yet.

Andrew Siemion, University of California, Berkeley Scientific American

The source of the signal is presumably technological. Because they "have no natural way of compressing electromagnetic energy in a single frequency range," said Andrew Siemion. He is one of the scientists who discovered the signal. The signal could just as easily come from a previously unknown exotic characteristic of plasma physics. Then the origin would be of natural origin.

The study results are to be published in early 2021. The lead author will be Sofia Sheikh from Penn State University.

It's the most exciting signal we've come across as part of the Breakthrough Listen Project. Because never before has a signal jumped through so many of our filters.

Sofia Sheikh, Penn State University

The breakthrough list project is a SETI project. The abbreviation stands for "Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence" and is committed to the search for extraterrestrial signals.

The unknown signal has since been given a name: BLC1, which stands for "Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1".