There May Be 234 Different Alien Species Trying To Make Contact, Astronomers Say
Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) recently detected mysterious ‘strobe-like’ eruptions coming from 234 stars that could be a signal from an intelligent alien race. Since then, astronomers have been analysing light signals from the sample of 2.5 million stars, from which these 234 stars were found.
The signals “have exactly the shape of an ETI [Extraterrestrial Intelligence] signal,” according to the astronomers. Every one of the 234 stars was relatively comparable to our sun as well, raising the possibility that this could be aliens.
Astronomers Ermanno Borra and Eric Trottier from Laval University in Canada claim that 234 extra-terrestrial civilisations might be beaming a coordinated light signal towards Earth based on the irregularities in the data is extremely premature. The 234 stars in Borra and Trottier’s study aren’t random. According to the abstract, they are “overwhelmingly in the F2 to K1 spectral range.” That’s significant because this is a small range centred around the spectrum of our own Sun.
It’s also worth noting that researchers from the Breakthrough Listen project – funded by Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, and run by the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research Centre at the University of California Berkeley – say aliens are about the last thing they expect to find when they examine these claims.
However, it’s always worth a second look when it comes to the Universe and you have some interesting and exciting data.
“The one in 10,000 objects with unusual spectra seen by Borra and Trottier are certainly worthy of additional study,” the SETI Research Centre announced in a statement last week.
“However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It is too early to unequivocally attribute these purported signals to the activities of extraterrestrial civilisations.”
Although the signals closely match what astronomers doubt an alien civilization would be communicating, there are several other possible explanations. Alien civilizations trying to communicate are one of the five proposed causes of the mysterious signals. Another explanation is that the stars have some unique chemical composition – something not yet seen in the universe – that causes them to emit light that observers on Earth experience as coming in short bursts.
“Although unlikely, there is also a possibility that the signals are due to highly peculiar chemical compositions in a small fraction of galactic halo stars.”
To sum it all up, the two astronomers have found a tiny number of stars, very similar to our own Sun that appear to be the source of pulsed signals. If a technological society was using powerful lasers to communicate with distant stars, these signals are the same as predicted.
Maybe the first sign coming from aliens will be pulsed light signals from stars like our own Sun. However, it’s all still in the initial phase and as the authors acknowledge, “…at this stage, this hypothesis needs to be confirmed with further work.”
Also, the Breakthrough team has given Borra’s findings a score of 0 to 1 on the Rio Scale. The Rio Scale is something used by the international SETI community to rank detections of phenomena that could indicate advanced life beyond Earth. A rating of 0 to 1 means it’s insignificant.