The good news is still there – right? Scientists at the Australian Parkes Observatory received a radio signal, the origin of which remains unknown. The British newspaper “The Guardian” published this news recently.An interview specialist publication by researchers to follow.
The radio signal appears to be coming from our neighboring star, Proxima Centauri
The radio signal has a frequency of about 982 MHz. It appears to be coming from the direction of Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri in the southern constellation of Centaur is a red dwarf star and our closest neighbor is a star. Its distance from Earth is only 4.2 light years. A slight shift in frequency indicates that the signal source will match a planet orbiting Centaurus.
In fact, there is at least one known planet around our neighboring star: Proxima Centauri b. It is a rocky planet located in the habitable zone around its star – that is, in the region where there could be liquid water on the planet’s surface.
No natural causes for the wireless signal have been found yet
982 MHz is not a frequency used by artificial antennas, spaceships or satellites. Additionally, changing the frequency – meaning the shape of the signal – indicates that it is not coming from Earth, but rather from space. Fits the trend, too: The signal appears to be coming from our neighboring star and not from anywhere. Until now, scientists have not been able to determine a natural cause, such as the eruption of the star Proxima Centauri or another astrophysical phenomenon.
Promising path to finding life outside Earth?
So it is no wonder that the wireless signal has been named “BLC1,” for “Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1”. He is the # 1 candidate for the Breakthrough Lists Project. This is a project that has been looking for possible signals of extraterrestrial life since 2016, including using the Parkes Telescope in Australia. Now, four years later, BLC1 is the first possible signal.
Wow signal, microwave and BLC1
However, “potential” must be taken very seriously, since BLC1 in no way indicates the existence of extraterrestrial life. A look at history quickly shows how all the other mysterious signals from space have had success so far. On the one hand, there is the story of the microwave: For years, the Parkes Telescope in Australia – that is, the telescope with which BLC1 was discovered – received mysterious signals that no one could find an explanation for. Ultimately, it turns out that this was caused by the microwave in the observatory kitchen. Incidentally, microwave can be ruled out as a cause of BLC1.
Or the dazzling signal: This powerful radio signal received in 1977 from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius caused astrophysicist Jerry Iman to circle it on the printout and decorate it with “Wow!” To this day, there is only speculation about its origin.
Waiting for a repeat
As exciting as BLC1 may be, the fall of the WoW signal can be repeated. Because the problem in 1977, as it is today, is that both signs are so unique now. BLC1 was observed over thirty hours in early 2019, but not since. But in science, the following applies: Never once. Whether BLC1 is to become uniquely ambiguous, hitherto unknown interfering signal or a truly startling discovery remains to be seen.