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Astronomers Detect 'Mysterious' Signal 95-Light Years Away, A Message from Aliens?

Aug 30, 2016 03:29 AM EDT

Astronomers have recently detected a mysterious signal from a star system. Adding to the intrigue is that the powerful signal was detected despite its location of being 95-light years away from the earth. Is this a case of ET phoning home?

"An international team of researchers has announced the detection of 'a strong signal in the direction of HD164595,'" stated Paul Gilster on his blog, Centauri Dreams, adding, "No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization ... But the signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target."

The Russian radio telescope, RATAN-600, had first detected the signal emanating from star HD 164595 in constellation Hercules on May 15, 2015. Astronomers from the Russian Academy of Sciences' Special Astrophysical Observatory had yet to publicize their findings. Now, they have urged the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to take a look at HD 164595 in hopes of confirming their discovery.

SETI had immediately gone to work right after hearing about the alleged "mysterious" signal from HD 164595. Senior astronomer, Seth Shostak, is gathering all the information he can. For now, Shostak suspects the signal isn't extraterrestrial.

"This is a bit of a puzzling story, as the Russians found this signal a year ago or so, but just didn't let others know. That's not good policy, as what you really want is confirmation at another telescope, but... Is it real? The signal may be real, but I suspect it's not ET. There are other possibilities for a wide-band signal such as this, and they're caused by natural sources (or even terrestrial interference),"  stated Shostak in a report by GeekWire.

For now, Shostak along with his team are collecting as much data as they can. The work will be presented to researchers at the International Astronomical Meeting in Mexico by September 27.

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