lundi 17 juillet 2017

A star emits "strange" radio signals

Arecibo Observatory logo.

July 17, 2017

Astronomers seek to elucidate the origin of intriguing radios signals from a star close to the Earth.

American astronomers have detected "strange" radio signals that they try to explain nature and which come from a star among the closest to Earth, at only eleven light years.

Image above: Ross 128 is a dim red dwarf star, like Gliese 623 A (M2.5V) and B (M5.8Ve) at lower right. (See a 2MASS Survey image of Ross 128 from the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database.)

These "very strange" programs appear unique to a red dwarf star, scientists at the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico say in a blog, pointing out that observations of similar stars in the neighborhood did not Receive similar signals.

In April and May, these scientists recorded signals from several stars in the same neighborhood, including Gliese 436, Ross 128, Wolf 359 and HD 95735. After analyzing these data, they found that star Ross 128 Emitted strange radio signals.

"We realized that these signals were very strange in the ten-minute sequence in which we captured them," writes Abel Mendez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo, adding that their origin is unknown.

Screenshot of Tweet of the Arecibo Observatory

"We believe that these signals are not radio interference since they are unique to Ross 128 and that observations from other stars immediately before and after capturing those broadcasts have not shown anything similar," he says. "We do not know the origin of these signals but there are three main explanations possible," continues the astronomer.

This could be solar eruption, emissions from another object in the Ross 128 field of view, or simply an explosion of a star satellite traveling in an orbit Very distant.

Arecibo Observatory, aerial view of the Radio Telescope

The astronomer also emphasizes with irony that "the hypothesis of an emission coming from extraterrestrials comes very far after many other better explanations possible".

On Sunday evening, these astronomers made new observations of the star with the Arecibo observatory. Scientists from Berkeley, California's SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) also conducted listening to Ross 128 with the Green Bank Telescope and the Telescope Array, a group of telescopes.

Screenshot of Tweet of the Prof. Abel Méndez

"We have to collect the data from the other telescopes to gather all these observations in order to reach a conclusion, probably by the end of the week," Professor Mendez wrote on Twitter (@ProfAbelMendez).

The findings of these investigations will also be published at and

Related links:

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI):

Arecibo Observatory:

New Search for Extrasolar Planets from the Arecibo Observatory:

NASA Star and Exoplanet Database:

Images, Text, Credits: Arecibo Observatory/Prof. Abel Méndez/NASA/ESA/Hubble/STSc/Wikipedia/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Best regards,

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