Science & Technology

Alien Contact: The only promising radio signal is “human-generated interference”

The Breakthrough Listen project has detected what appears to be the best candidate for alien signals to date, but it turns out to be just human technology.


October 25, 2021


Proxima Centauri, our closest stellar neighbor

ESA / Hubble & NASA

Signal foretold as the best candidate ever Evidence of alien technology It was finally analyzed, and it turned out that it was almost certainly an interference from our own wireless technology. NS Breakthrough Listen A $ 100 million program funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, the project scrutinized the anomalous radio beam discovered in 2019 and found it to be non-alien after all.

What is this radio signal?
A signal called Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1 or simply BLC1 was detected by the Parks Observatory in Australia. The observatory observed the Proxima Centauri system over a wide range of wavelengths in 2019. Proxima Centauri Is a particularly interesting star because it looks like there is at least one planet orbiting the habitable zone. It is neither too hot nor too cold for the liquid water on the surface of the planet.

In the process of these observations, more than 4 million signs of radio radiation were captured at various wavelengths. One of these so-called hits looked like an accurate radio beam with a frequency of about 982 MHz, or a wavelength of about 0.3 meters. It glowed for about 2.5 hours on April 29, 2019, its frequency slowly increasing and then disappearing.

What’s so weird?
There is a set of properties to check for each hit a researcher finds. First, if the signal is from a distant planet orbiting a star, the observed frequency will change slowly and smoothly over time as the planet rotates and orbits, depending on its movement. The frequency should be modulated. Of the 4 million hits from Proxima Centauri’s Parks observations, only about 1 million hits showed this.

The second major criterion is that the signal should disappear when the telescope points slightly away from the target star system. This eliminated most of the remaining hits and narrowed the field to 5160 promising signals. Some of these made BLC1 special. The frequency band it covers is very narrow, eliminating all the possibilities of astrophysics. Radio sourceThere were no registered transmitters using that frequency within 1000 kilometers of the observatory. And it lasted longer than radio signals from aircraft and satellites passing over the telescope. Of the millions of signals the Breakthrough Listen team has analyzed so far, this was the only one that seemed to actually be an alien.

How do you know it’s not an alien?
After BLC1 was discovered and tagged as interesting Sophia Shake At the University of California, Berkeley, we delved into the archived observations of the Proxima Centauri system and looked for signals similar to this. They found 60 other signals at various frequencies that are otherwise similar to BLC1. All of these signals were also detected when the telescope was pointing away from Proxima Centauri. This indicates that it was produced by human technology near the observatory. BLC1 was detected only when the telescope was aimed at the target star system, but researchers could have it was probably a coincidence and the signal was generated by two interfering artificial radio transmitters. I found that it was highly sexual.

“Given the millions of signal haystacks, the most likely explanation is that it happens to be a transmission from” strange “human technology in the right way to trick our filters. That’s it, “Shake said in a statement. BLC1 Signal from alien technology – But it’s very unlikely that it’s an alien now.

Journal reference: Nature Astronomy, DOI: 10.1038 / s41550-021-01508-8

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Alien Contact: The only promising radio signal is “human-generated interference” Alien Contact: The only promising radio signal is “human-generated interference”

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