Has SETI Found an Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space?

First Published: September 1, 2016 Last updated: June 3rd, 2019 Written by: Ian Stephens Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes Posted in: Space
1 comment

One thing we love to read about at UFO Insight is the (credible) theories about alien lifeforms. Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of stuff in the news about aliens, and potential alien lifeforms. From the Dyson Sphere star to the discovery of ancient fossils, we seem to be moving quickly in our research.

However, a recent mention from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence really caught our eye. Otherwise known as SETI, this international science team spend their time investigating quirky signs. Well, the latest sign is one that has definitely caught the eye!

Searching for an alien signal.

Searching for an alien signal.

The team have spotted a large array of intermittent signal spikes, from a planet in the Hercules constellation. This star is estimated to be around 6.3 billion years, and is 95 light years away from Earth. Apparently, the signal spike is hinting to SETI, and others, that alien life may be putting out feelers.

If they are, it’s going to be a species that would blow ours away technologically. This potential civilization, if this signal gives any genuine feelers, would be the biggest breakthrough yet. There have always been great theories about life from other planets – but with no verified proof. Well, if this signal checks out, that could all change.

What’s the Story?

Basically, in May 2015 a very particular signal was detected by the Russian Academy of Space’ RATAN-600 radio telescope. It was kept a secret from the international community by the Zelenchukskaya group, until they could get enough details. Eventually, the story was broken to the world by Paul Gilster. As you might imagine, this sent people into fever pitch!

The paper documented that a “strong signal” had been picked up in the direction of the star. Message boards, forums and social media in this particular circle lit up with discussion. The star, which is designated HDI64595 for now, is described as “sun-like” in nature. Indeed, it’s supposed to an identical metallic composition to our own. One single planet, similar to Neptune in some ways, has been found orbiting around the star. However, Gilster and others were open to the possibility of other stars being found there eventually.

According to SETI agents Claudio Maccone and Nikolai Bursov, permanent monitoring is needed. We’d agree, too. If there is actually a signal from a planet far away, isn’t it our duty to continue investigating that to see what awaits us?

So, what does this mean? According to The Case for Pluto author Alan Boyne, it’s a possible source. He stated in his Geekwire article that this could fit “the profile for an international transmission from an extraterrestrial source.”

If that won’t get you excited, what will!?

The Kardashev Scale

So, if we have just fond a message from some non-human friends, what does that mean?

Well, for one, they are WAY more advanced than we are. The signal would have to come from an isotropic beacon, apparently, which would indicate a highly advanced race. Apparently, this puts the race as high as Type II on the Kardashev scale. The Kardashev Scale, by the way, is a technological development measurement. It looks to see how much energy was needed to transmit a potentially inter-stellar signal. When released by an Isotropic beacon, it means that the power signal went in all directions equally whilst promoting signal strength without relying on travel.

According to the developer of the scale itself, Nikolai Kardashev, a Type II civilization would be mega powerful. They would have the capacity to harness the energy of their own host star. As we discussed earlier, that would be in the same mold as the Dyson Sphere. Basically, they could absorb a planets life force and use it to power their own planet.

The idea, then, is that if the signal was just belted out without any direction, it would take astronomical power levels to charge and make it detectable. But, what if it was aimed for us purposefully? What if the civilization would be happy to send it our way and our way alone?

Well, that would indicate a reduction on the Kardashev scale. This would mean they were ‘just’ a Type I civilization. This means that they are likely to be hyper advanced and very powerful technologically. But, crucially, they would be harnessing solar energy from a local star – like our own solar technology. However, it sounds like they would be using solar power correctly – and uniformly – rather than treating it like something for hippies like we do.

The Arecibo telescope, which is also used by SETI and the SETI@HOME project. This was also featured in James Bond's Goldeneye.

The Arecibo telescope, which is also used by SETI and the SETI@HOME project. This was also featured in James Bond’s Goldeneye.

A Strong Signal

Well, the team behind the finding of this signal have decided that it needs to be investigated further. The RATAN-600 research team think it needs permanent monitoring – and who can blame them?

SETI, have put together a full team to put total concentration on this. According to the Observer, they are committing the full Allen Telescope Array in north California to this. Likewise, parts of the Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligent Unit will use the Boquete Observatory in Panama.

The signal has caught the eye for many, leading to a much more open discussion about what this may mean. If you are desperate to find out more, then mark September 27th in your calendar. This is where the International Astronautical Congress will be taking place, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

There, we’ll hear about the SETI program so far and what the future plans are likely to be. Stay tuned for more details, as this is going to be a developing story for some time. With so much information to be garnered about this topic, it’s going to be interesting to see what the international community make of this.

Another “Wow!” Moment?

However, as always, the skeptics have arrived. Most are believing this could just be yet another “Wow!” signal, as we got in the late 1970s. People are claiming that it could merely be the result of a “natural celestial event” or it may be as is claimed.

If you have never heard of it, the Wow! Event from the 70s was when a 72-second long event occurred at the Big Ear radio observatory. Ohio State University picked up the noise, and it was recorded by Jerry Ehmen, a volunteer astronomer, who simply wrote “Wow!” on a computer printout of the transmission. He found that it was thirty times stronger than the background emissions at the time.

However, no evidence has ever been found that it was sent by aliens – or by anything. Instead, it has become a bit of a mystery and with no repeat detection ever made, it’s hard to know what occurred. The signal, though, was concluded to have been coming from Sagittarius, if that helps put your mind at ease!

The idea is that we’ll always catch and hear amazing things, without being able to capture the moment. For example, how often do you walk by someone in the street and catch the end of a conversation?

Sometimes, you just hear the most ridiculous thing. A particular message – or signal, in this case – without context can be hard to read or understand. Therefore, it’s easy to see why this message, with no follow-up, could just become a bit of a mystery.

The rapid appearance and disappearance of each signal has been an interesting topic of discussion. Nobody has any concrete answers for us at the moment, nor do we expect to hear any in the near future. This is a story which is likely to rumble on and on, with no sign of finding a conclusion.

That being said, it’s better to know that something is out there. Imagine a universe so vast, so immense, with no other life force outside of this planet?

Now, that would be a tragedy.

About Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is an editor and writer for UFO Insight. He has a keen interest in the fields of strange phenomena, UFOs and aliens. He is also interested in space, physics and science in general. Writing for over 10 years in these fields, Ian has a lot of experience and knowledge to share.

You can contact Ian via email.

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1 Comment

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  • Marcelo says:

    Silly Effort To Investigate = SETI

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