The British newspaper The Guardian recently reported the identification of a mysterious signal coming from Proxima Centauri (the closest star to us). Despite its very short distance of only 4.2 light-years from Earth, the star is invisible to the naked eye due to its low luminosity. The new signal, found in last year’s archive data this fall, apparently comes from our neighbor’s star. The signal can not yet be ruled out as ground interference, and this has led to the emergence of advanced extraterrestrial intelligence as a possible transmitter of this so-called “technological footprint”.
Scientists responsible for the new discovery warn in an interview with American Scientific that many issues still need to be clarified; But they acknowledge that extraterrestrials are justified. Andrew Simeon “The University of California, Berkeley,” he said.[سیگنال] “It has some special features that make it acceptable in many of our reviews and we still can’t explain it.”
Most interestingly, the new signal occupies a narrow bandwidth of the radio spectrum. In this range of 982 MHz, usually no message is transmitted from man-made satellites and spacecraft. “We do not know of any natural way to compress electromagnetic energy to a range of frequencies like this signal,” says Simion. According to him, perhaps some unusual and currently unknown properties of plasma physics could be a natural justification for these compact waves. “But for now, the only source we know of is technology.”
The new discovery was made with the $ 100 million Breakthrough Listen project, which Simion, along with Yuri Milner (Technology billionaire) has sponsored it in the form of scientific programs called line-breaking initiatives. Launched in 2015 by Stephen Hawking and other space scientists, the multi-layered effort aims to buy observation time for radio telescopes around the world to search the sky and find evidence of advanced civilizations. This program is commonly known as Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
To date, all the signals that have suggested the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence have, in fact, originated from orbiting satellites or other human interference and have therefore been rejected. As a result, despite more than half a century of quiet but continuous activity, no solid evidence of the existence of advanced alien life has been found. Jason Wright“If you see such a signal that it is not coming from the surface, you know that you have identified extraterrestrial technology,” says the astronomy centered on the state at Pennsylvania State University. “Unfortunately, humans have launched a lot of extraterrestrial technologies.”
The story of Seti’s recent discovery began on April 29, 2019. At that time, scientists affiliated with Bektros Lisen began collecting data that later revealed an attractive signal. A team of researchers using the Parks Radio Telescope in Australia was studying Proxima Centauri to find signs of the red dwarf’s flares and to see how they could affect the star’s planets. Proxima’s system hosts at least two worlds. The first planet, Proxima B, discovered in 2016, is about 1.2 times the size of Earth and orbits in the star’s “belt of life” in an 11-day orbit. In this range, water can exist on the surface of a rocky planet provided that solar flares do not disrupt its atmosphere. Another planet, called Proxima C, about seven times the mass of Earth, was discovered in 2019 in a frozen 5.2-year-old orbit.
Artistic image of the planet Proxima B. orbiting Proxima Centauri.
Using parks, astronomers observed Proxima for 26 hours as part of a solar flare study; But, as is the case with the Brektrison project, they marked the data for future review to look for any possible signal. This task is the responsibility of a young intern at the Seth Simon program in Berkeley. Shane Smith it placed. Smith began a thorough review of the data in June this year; But it was in late October that he unexpectedly found an unusual signal at 982.002 MHz. Sophia Sheikh “This is the most exciting signal we have found in the Brectro Lisen project,” said Pennsylvania State University, which leads the future signal analysis analysis at Brektrison and co-author of a new research paper to be published in early 2021; Because no signal has ever been able to pass through our many filters. “Soon our team will call the signal by a more formal name: BLC1, which stands for the first candidate for the Blessed Sacrament.”
Signals To arouse the interest of the researcher, one must first pass a series of simple automated tests to eliminate obvious ground interference. However, hundreds of candidates are usually accepted at this stage and selected for further consideration. But in the next step, almost all signals will be rejected as an illusion or error. For example, it may be that there is too much noise to mislead the screening algorithm into making it the loudest alien, unlike all other signals.
Sheikh and his colleagues reviewed the data from 2019 and noted that the telescope had repeatedly looked at Proxima in 30-minute scans over the course of a week. Bektro Lisen uses a technique called “noding” in which the telescope spends a period of time looking at the target and then spending the same amount of time looking at other points in the sky to see if any possible signals are actually coming from the target. Or not. “In five 30-minute observations over almost three hours, we saw the signal return,” says Sheikh. This indicates that the signal before reaching Earth actually originated from Proxima Centauri, or another source deep in space.
You may think the case is closed; But although the natural cosmic source may seem unlikely, it still cannot be ruled out. At the same time, as much as natural justification may be unlikely, it is far less likely to be unnaturally justified as aliens. As a result, all members of the Brektro Lison team, who spoke with American Scientific, insist that any kind of factor other than ground interference is highly unlikely. Pete Warden“The most likely option is a human factor, and when I say the most likely, it means, for example, 99.9 percent,” says the CEO of Breakthrough Initiatives.
This logical pessimism has always existed along the way. “When we launched Brektro Leison with Stephen Hawking in 2015, we knew we would use the most rigorous scientific approach to parsing all candidate signals,” says Milner. Milner and apparently all of his fellow Seti researchers fully expect BLC1 to fail in the current scrutiny of the project; But that may not happen.
It will take months of further analysis to definitively rule out other possible sources, and BLC1, although apparently from Proxima Centauri, does not live up to expectations of a technological footprint from that system. First, the signal has no effect of modulation (making changes to the properties of the signal that can be used to transmit information). BLC1 is just a monotonous signal for any purpose. According to Simion: “The signal definitely has no additional properties that we can detect at this point.”
Second, the signal is “diverted”; That is, there is a slight change in frequency. This effect may be due to the movement of our own planet or the movement of an extraterrestrial source such as a transmitter on the surface of one of the planets Proxima Centauri. Deviation, however, is the opposite of what one would simply expect from a signal emanating from the universe around our nearest neighbor star. “We expect the signal frequency to drop like a trumpet,” says Sheikh. “Instead, what we see is like a sliding whistle (the frequency goes up).”
Subsequent observations using Parks to retrieve the signal have so far failed; Repeat observation is required to validate BLC1 as a true technological footprint. شامی چترجی“If an independent team at an independent observatory can recover the same signal, then definitely yes,” says a radio astronomer at Cornell University in New York. I am willing to bet that they will not succeed; “But I love being wrong.”
With all that said, BLC1 is still one of the most intriguing signals found by the Blessed Sacrament team, or certainly any other set program. Sheikh hears this signal with a so-called “wow!” Signal. It compares that it was identified in 1977 and was thought to have originated from an extraterrestrial source. “BLC1 is on par with the Wow signal,” he says. Is; But our signal is most likely generated solely from an unknown ground interference source. In the next few months, we will probably understand in any way. But for now, aliens are definitely not the cause. “I hate that phrase.” Wright adds: “… If you say so, then why check at all? “It means that there have never been foreigners before.”