'Peculiar' radio signals emerge from nearby star

July 18, 2017
Some very 'peculiar signals' have been noticed coming from a star just 11 light-years away, according to scientists in Puerto Rico

Some very "peculiar signals" have been noticed coming from a star just 11 light-years away, scientists in Puerto Rico say.

The mystery has gripped the internet as speculation mounts about the potential for a discovery of alien life on the red dwarf star known as Ross 128—despite the best attempts of astronomers to put such rumors to rest.

"In case you are wondering, the recurrent aliens hypothesis is at the bottom of many other better explanations," said a blog post by Abel Mendez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

Something unusual first came to light in April and May, when the team was studying a series of small and relatively cool , some of which are known to have planets circling them.

Ross 128 is not known to have planets, but "we realized that there were some very peculiar signals in the 10-minute dynamic spectrum that we obtained from Ross 128."

The signals were observed May 13 at 0053 GMT, and "consisted of broadband quasi-periodic non-polarized pulses with very strong dispersion-like features," he wrote.

"We believe that the signals are not local radio frequency interferences (RFI) since they are unique to Ross 128 and observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar."

Credit: Planetary Habitability Laboratory

There are three main possibilities to explain the bursts.

They could be emissions similar to solar flares.

They could be emissions from another object in the field of view of Ross 128.

Or they might be a burst from a high orbit satellite, Mendez wrote.

Since the signals are likely too dim to be picked up by other radio telescopes in the world, Mendez said that scientists at the Arecibo Observatory joined with astronomers from SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Life) would use the Allen Telescope Array and the Green Bank Telescope to observe the star for a second time late Sunday.

The results of these observations should be posted by the end of the week, he said.

"I have a Pina Colada ready to celebrate if the signals result to be astronomical in nature," Mendez said.

Explore further: A new search for extrasolar planets from the Arecibo Observatory

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20 comments

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PowerMax
5 / 5 (2) Jul 18, 2017
1 it's never Aliens
2 Pina Colada is a terrible choice (caugh gin tonic caugh)
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2017
Given Jupiter is a good source of RF, could there be a jovian in orbit outside the Doppler sensitivity ??
javjav
5 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2017
If they need Arecibo antenna then it does not sound like a satellite , as other antennas could catch it. And with so many people investigating it , if it where a satellite we would know it by now. If they didnt say anything yet it means they are convinced that it comes from the star, but they are afraid to announce it without more certainty. It must be either an unknown phenomena or ET, not a satellite
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Jul 18, 2017
"Broadband" means it's almost certainly not aliens. Communications channels are narrow-band in order to concentrate the energy; broadband would be wasteful.

@PowerMax, maybe they should drink margaritas. GnTs are nice but margaritas are more, shall we say, appropriate given the location. ;)

@Nik, unlikely to be an undiscovered planet; Ross 128 has been checked and doesn't show any of the signs.

@jav, don't forget something else along the same sightline.
jimsecor
1 / 5 (8) Jul 19, 2017
And what we're "seeing" (hearing in this case) is hundreds of thousands of years in the past, counting in earth years.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (9) Jul 19, 2017
@JS... Report clearly states, "a star just 11 light-years away"

So, if the signal came from that star, it is only 11 years old.
rrwillsj
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 19, 2017
Obviously not intelligent life, cause one of the important rules defining intelligence, is to stay the hell away from this particular hell-hole.

One possibility could be that 'broadband' means consumer entertainment, sports and advertising? That of course would rule them out as intelligent...

Hmm, some sort of artificial satellite? Deliberately pinging us from that away? Perhaps there is some hope for Alien intelligence after all. Clever enough to lure us out in the wrong direction?
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2017
Plasma processes are misunderstood? Say it ain't so.
"Students using astrophysical textbooks remain essentially ignorant of even the existence of plasma concepts, despite the fact that some of them have been known for half a century. The conclusion is that astrophysics is too important to be left in the hands of astrophysicists who have gotten their main knowledge from these textbooks. Earthbound and space telescope data must be treated by scientists who are familiar with laboratory and magnetospheric physics and circuit theory, and of course with modern plasma theory." Hannes Alfven
jonesdave
4 / 5 (8) Jul 19, 2017
Plasma processes are misunderstood? Say it ain't so.
"Students using astrophysical textbooks remain essentially ignorant of even the existence of plasma concepts, despite the fact that some of them have been known for half a century. The conclusion is that astrophysics is too important to be left in the hands of astrophysicists who have gotten their main knowledge from these textbooks. Earthbound and space telescope data must be treated by scientists who are familiar with laboratory and magnetospheric physics and circuit theory, and of course with modern plasma theory." Hannes Alfven


F***ing dick. That was from decades ago. Get up to speed, you idiot. Alfven is frigging dead. Has been for a long time. Yes? Get over it.
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2017
@nazi sympathizer and idiot pseudoscience cult peon cd
Plasma processes are misunderstood? Say it ain't so.
repeating a lie doesn't make it more true

so, if modern astrophysicists, working with plasma physicists and electrical engineers, are all wrong about plasma, then why do you:
1- keep quoting an out of date lie

2- use Alfven's quote and reply upon other engineers and plasma physicists? (even when you wrongly interpret the data)
considering they all learn the exact same thing, that would mean that all your idiot engineers who claim there is an electric sun in your cult are all wrong, per your own argument and admission!
LMFAO

3- not provide a better plasma physics laboratory?
you know... to publish these miracle plasma forces you seem to think exist that aren't known about by modern plasma physicists

you have never once been able to provide a refute to any plasma physics/astrophysics paper provided on this site

not once
ever

period
full stop
rrwillsj
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2017
Myself? I prefer Glasma. A tasty hot soup of colorfully quarky incoherence.
cantdrive85
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 20, 2017
F***ing dick. That was from decades ago. Get up to speed, you idiot. Alfven is frigging dead. Has been for a long time. Yes? Get over it.

Getting emotional again jonesdumb, maybe time to double up you meds.
Old_C_Code
2 / 5 (4) Jul 20, 2017
jonesdav, Einstein's dead too. You usually have the best anti-EU comments. But a dead Alfven adds no value. You big baby!
jonesdave
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 20, 2017
jonesdav, Einstein's dead too. You usually have the best anti-EU comments. But a dead Alfven adds no value. You big baby!


Because, dumbass, the comment was made decades ago. We know far more about plasma today than Alfven ever did. So posting a comment from decades ago is an irrelevance. And Einstein was wrong about quantum.
jonesdave
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 20, 2017
you have never once been able to provide a refute to any plasma physics/astrophysics paper provided on this site


Because he is clueless about said subject. All he can do is head off to Dunderdolts or hollowscience to find cherry picked quotes from a long dead scientist.

Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Jul 21, 2017
Nutjob @cantthink69 now claims everything is "plasma" instead of "electricity." I suppose it's little baby steps.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2017
One possibility could be that 'broadband' means consumer entertainment, sports and advertising?
Nawww, a series of such channels over a frequency range has to have "dead zones" at certain frequencies between the channels in order to segregate each channel; otherwise they'd interfere with each other. Since radio astronomers look for spectral lines, they'd spot this right away, and since it's true both of radio and television signals, they wouldn't be fooled.

On a side note, I gave you a 5; you were obviously playing around, and I don't think that deserves 1s. Be cool, folks; give a bit of leeway for humor. Try not to become the physorg police.
Osiris1
1 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2017
Back in the '50s in the early years there were a lot of sightings of UFO's, and some radio astronomists claimed to hear signals from that part of the sky again. Said folks also claimed that old timers had reported the same signals in the 1930's, and still older reports, spotty, claimed reception in the 1910s. Seems ever 22 years the signals returned. Eleven years to hear it and eleven years for the answer to come back to us, like they were hearing our radio broadcasts and repeating them back. Think I read about it again in the 1970's whilst at college. Don't know about the '90s. Here it is in the 2010s and it is back again. Might be something to this worth looking at.... if anyone cares to listen, we have far better equipment now to analyze these signals. hopefully they will not end up classified by the same scared old men that classify anything imaginably an 'alien threat...better not scare the stupid'. Steven Hawking is probably right. We are not really safe.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2017
And what we're "seeing" (hearing in this case) is hundreds of thousands of years in the past, counting in earth years.


@JS... Report clearly states, "a star just 11 light-years away"

So, if the signal came from that star, it is only 11 years old.

I dunno, man...given how long some shows get reruns...

Old_C_Code
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 21, 2017
jonesdav, your anger shows you lose a lot.

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