Scientists finally explain the intriguing signal picked up when searching for aliens in the nearby planetary system – .

Scientists finally explain the intriguing signal picked up when searching for aliens in the nearby planetary system – .

Scientists have finally found an explanation for an intriguing signal appearing to come from our nearest neighbor, found while searching for alien life.
Last year, the radio telescopes appeared to be obtaining data from the Proxima Centauri system that could point to alien technology.

Since then, Breakthrough Listen – a major project to search for life elsewhere in the universe – analyzes the signal, to find out if it could really be from another civilization.

They found that the signal actually appears to be an artifact of human technologies, according to two new papers published in the journal. Nature astronomy.

But Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire who founded the Breakthrough Listen project, said the research was a major step in the search for alien life – despite finding the opposite in this case.

“The significance of this result is that the search for civilizations beyond our planet is now a mature and rigorous field of experimental science,” he said.

Astronomers looking for signs of extraterrestrial civilizations, or technosignatures, must choose from the variety of similar signals reaching us from Earth. Radio telescopes must try to pick up all the radio signals created by mankind -om our phones, television transmitters, radar systems and more – and filter them out of all possible signals coming from Earth.

The latest articles focus on efforts to achieve this at the CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, which is one of the pieces of equipment involved in the Breakthrough Listen research. This telescope was used to scan Proxima Centauri, our closest star after the Sun, which is only 4 light years away and has at least two planets in orbit.

To better examine it, astronomers have looked at it through a variety of radio frequencies. The search was the equivalent of tuning into over 800 million radio channels at once, Breakthrough Listen.

When the planets are examined in such detail, a multitude of signals are likely to be picked up. As such, Breakthrough Listen passes all observations through a filter that sorts signals that aren’t likely to come from a transmitter far away from Earth: whether the signal changes frequency over time, and whether they come from the direction of the target, which can be ascertained by looking to see if they turn off when the telescope points out.

This filters out the vast majority of signals received by Breakthrough Listen. But even after that, last year’s intriguing signal has remained.

Plus, he had some of the characteristics that might suggest he really came from an alien civilization. This led to the possibility that the Breakthrough Listen team actually found a signal coming from aliens.

But on closer examination, the signal doesn’t actually appear to be alien – but quite more human. While they weren’t able to find exactly what caused the detection, it seems it was specifically calculated to get through the filters.

It does, however, give scientists the assurance that they would be able to identify real signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.

“While we have not been able to conclude a true technosignature, we are increasingly convinced that we have the tools to detect and validate such signatures if they exist,” said S Pete Worden, Executive Director by Breakthrough Initiatives.

They also believe that Proxima Centauri is still an exciting prospect for finding technosignatures.

“In the case of this particular candidate, our analysis suggests that it is highly unlikely that it actually originated from a transmitter at Proxima Centauri. However, it’s without a doubt one of the most intriguing signals we’ve seen to date, ”said Andrew Siemion of the University of California, Berkeley, who leads the science team at Breakthrough Listen.

The two articles – “A radio technosignature search to Proxima Centauri resulting in a signal of interest”, which details the discovery of the signal, and “Analysis of the signal of interest Breakthrough Listen blc1 with a technosignature verification framework”, which explains the analysis of it – are both published in Nature astronomy today.


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