Scientists find a strange signal coming from our closest neighboring star
Astronomers have come across a puzzle that comes surprisingly close to Earth. The Guardian and Scientific American learned that Breakthrough List astronomers using the Parkes Telescope in Australia discovered a strange radio signal from Proxima Centauri, the star system closest to the Sun. The signal occupies an oddly narrow 982 MHz band that is not used by human-made spacecraft, but is not possible due to known natural processes. The frequency is also shifting up, not down, as you would expect from a planet.
Do not count on it as a sign of aliens. Although Proxima Centauri is home to a potentially habitable planet, the signal has not been detected since it was first observed between April and May 2019. "As it is, it is highly unlikely that a radio-enabled civilization could live virtually next door without detection - Earth would have been immersed in radio signals from a planet only 4.2 light years away.
The most likely explanations are either a previously unknown source of terrestrial interference or a newly discovered natural phenomenon.
It's still remarkable. According to Sofia Sheikh, head of signal analysis, Breakthrough Listen did not pass a signal through "so many of its filters" that were used to capture interference and natural explanations. It's like saying "Wow!" Signal from 1977, she said - it's at least attention grabbing. While the cause is likely something other than extraterrestrial life, the possible answer could be very useful.
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