SETI, which stands for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, recently discovered a radio blip that appears to be of intelligent origin, and possibly extraterrestrial.
The signal was seen on May 15, 2015, by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, and it seems to be coming from HD 164595, a Sun-like star about 95 light-years away. The team has tracked the system for 15 months, and so far there have not been any repetitions.
HD 164595 is orbited by a warm-Neptune exoplanet. It has 16 times the mass of Earth and orbits its star every 40 days, making it too hot for life to have formed there. The spike in the radio signal was very powerful and it fits the profile for an artificial transmission, with only a one in 5,000 chance of it being a fluke of the instrument. Learn more about HD 16595
What makes this very interesting is that it’ been determined that this is not an artifact nor a glitch in the radio monitoring system.
The signal conceivably fits the profile for an intentional transmission from an extraterrestrial source,” said Alan Boyle, author of The Case for Pluto who reported the story for Geekwire. “In any case, the blip is interesting enough to merit discussion by those who specialize in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.”
The signal’s strength indicates that if it in fact came from a isotropic beacon, the power source would have to be built by a Kardashev Type II civilization. (The Kardashev scale is used to determine the progress of a civilization’s technological development by measuring how much energy was used to transmit an interstellar message.) An ‘Isotropic’ beacon means a communication source emitting a signal with equal power in all directions while promoting signal strength throughout travel. Learn more about type II civilizations
What is a Dyson Sphere
The not-so-plausible explanation is that the dimming is being caused by a kind of Dyson Sphere – a gigantic sphere made of solar panels that completely encircles a star, featured in several science fiction stories.
“Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilisation to build,” Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University, told The Atlantic at the time of the discovery.
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