Two astronomers think they might have heard from aliens, they announced in a paper published Oct 14. The scientists analyzed 2.5 million stars and found that 234 of them produced signals consistent with an extraterrestrial civilization trying to make contact.
“We consider the possibility, predicted in the previous publication, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by Extraterrestrial Intelligence to make us aware of their existence,” the study said. Ermanno F. Borra and Eric Trottier of Laval University in Canada found that the 234 stars producing the signals all fall in a small range of stars situated near a type of sun just like ours, meaning there’s a better chance that they’re home to advanced life forms.
“The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectrum type of the Sun is also in agreement with the extra-terrestrial intelligence hypothesis,” the paper said.
Borra and Trottier laid out some other possible causes, but they placed their bets (and hopes) on alien life. “Although unlikely, there is also a possibility that the signals are due to highly peculiar chemical compositions in a small fraction of galactic halo stars,” the paper said. They recognized that the signals could have come from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope itself, the instrument that originally detected them. They ruled out rapid pulsations in the stars’ atmospheres as a possible cause, but Borra and Trottier acknowledged that further work needs to be done to prove their theory.
Scientists are racing to be the first to find alien life in deep space, but findings like this one are often disproved upon further analysis. On Aug. 15, Russia announced they had detected aberrant space signals and speculated on the possibility of extra-terrestrials. They later disclosed that the signals actually came from an old Russian military satellite.