Researchers involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have announced in a paper that they have detected new messages from the stars, saying they are likely to have been generated by aliens.
The researchers are from the University of Laval in Quebec, Canada. Their paper has been accepted by the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and is titled ‘Discovery of peculiar periodic spectral modulations in a small fraction of solar type stars.’
According to a print version of the paper – also available online – the title of the paper was initially proposed as ‘Signals probably from Extraterrestrial Intelligence.’ However, this was later changed due to concerns raised by some observers.
The researchers who made the discovery revealed they heard unusual messages from deep in space. For them, they strongly believe the messages are coming from aliens.
The paper revealed the finding of specific modulations in just 234 out of the 2.5 million stars that have been observed during a survey of the sky. The work found that a tiny fraction of them seemed to be behaving strangely. According to the researchers, their analysis of these modulations in a tiny set of stars, may indicate that these messages are from extraterrestrial intelligence looking to alert humanity of their existence.
The researchers said there is no obvious explanation to what they discovered, hence their conclusion that the messages are coming from aliens.
“We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an [extraterrestrial intelligence] signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis. The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the sun is also in agreement with the Extraterrestrial Intelligence hypothesis,” the researchers, EF Borra and E Trottier wrote in their paper.
The researchers also noted that further work will need to be done, in order to confirm or deny the hypothesis they have put forward. Doing so will require watching for the same signals on different equipment, aiding to discard all other explanations. This will be done by a so-called independent body.
Meanwhile, some organizations in the SETI community have welcomed the work done by the researchers. Breakthrough Listen, an initiative set up this year to look for alien life, with support from the British Theoretical Physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said the newly discovered messages were promising. It added that the new paper could eventually lead to concrete evidence of alien life existence.
This isn’t the first time researchers in the SETI community have detected signals from the stars since their mission to find alien life begun. In August this year, Russian astronomers engaged in SETI, announced that they had detected a strong mysterious radio signal on a sun-like star, around 94 light years from Earth. According to the Russian researchers, the strange signal was detected from the direction of HD164595. The researchers revealed that the Ratan-600 radio telescope, located in the rural community of Zelenchukskaya, detected the signal. In fact, the Russians detected the signal in 2015, but decided to keep it secret until August 27, 2016.
Extraterrestrial life, commonly referred to as alien life, is the life that does not originate from the Earth. Some cosmologists believe alien life ranges from simple bacteria-like organisms to civilizations that are far more advanced than that of human beings.
Some researchers encourage aggressive methods to try and contact alien life. Some also believe human contact with aliens will bring disastrous consequences to the human race, and though Professor Hawking supports Breakthrough Listen, he has repeatedly warned human beings that they should never make contact with aliens.
Hawking believes that humanity will be shocked once they set their eyes on aliens. According to Hawking, it is possible that the aliens might have used all their resources, and are looking for other places to rule, thus, making human contact with them very dangerous. He also suggested that alien life exists in many parts of the universe: Not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars, or even floating in interplanetary space.
Either way, this new find is certainly raising questions in the community.