Astronomers specializing in the search for alien life have detected an intriguing radio signal that appears to have originated from the region where Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, is located. The information was revealed by The Guardian last Friday (18).
According to the English newspaper, the mysterious radio broadcast was picked up between April and May 2019 by specialists who are part of the Breakthroug Listen project, during 30 hours of observations made with the Parkes radio telescope, in Australia. These researchers are already used to “hearing” such signals, but this time something caught the eye.
One of the reasons that left the researchers intrigued is the 980 MHz signal emission range, in which there are no human-built spaceships or satellites transmitting. Another curious detail is in relation to how its frequency changes, leading scientists to suggest the origin from the surface of an exoplanet.
The characteristics of the transmission that may have come from the star located 4.2 light years away from Earth have gained so much prominence that they led the team to classify it as the first serious candidate since the famous “Wow!” Sign. They refer to the recording made in 1977 of a radio wave pulse lasting 72 seconds, which is still unexplained today.
Study in progress
Since the detection of Proxima Centauri’s radio signal last year, astronomers have initiated a cautious investigation. One of the first steps was to make another observation of the star, which did not return positive results.
They are also analyzing the signal to try to determine if it was artificially produced or if it is a natural transmission like others and should use Parkes’ radio telescope for further observations of the red dwarf, in addition to carrying out further experiments.
The study called “Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1” (BLC1) has yet to be finalized and published.