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“Unique” – Mysterious signal from space decoded

The exploration of space is a central concern of science. (Symbol image)

© Nasa Esa Jpl Caltech/NASA/dpa

Researchers discover a mysterious signal from space. A study clarifies what this is all about.

Canberra – The exploration of the universe in all its facets has occupied science for decades. For example, mankind keeps asking itself whether extraterrestrial life exists – or not. One initiative that has been approaching this issue on a large scale since 2015 is the “Breakthrough Initiative” *. When introducing the project, British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking said: “We believe that life on earth came into being spontaneously. There must therefore be more life in an infinite universe. ”According to Hawking, the project is the“ greatest scientific search for intelligent life outside the earth ”.

Central components of the “Breakthrough” research are two very powerful radio telescopes, which were positioned in the USA * and Australia. The Australian telescope made an interesting discovery in 2019: an hour-long radio signal *, later called BLC1, could be recorded.

According to the project’s researchers, this was a “one-and-done signal”, which was unique, never repeated and was previously associated with intelligent civilizations. It was simply “unique”, said Sofia Sheikh from the Berkeley Seti Research Center to the US news portal Daily Beast.

Mysterious signal from space detected

The scientists recently published their research results on this radio signal in a study in the journal Nature Astronomy. It states, among other things, that airplanes or satellites could be excluded as signal sources because it was constantly present over such a long period of time. According to the researchers, the signal comes from a dense region around the star Proxima Centauri. The star has been explored by NASA * ​​for some time.

“We can say with confidence that BLC1 matches human radio frequency interference from some kind of ground-based technology,” said Sheikh, co-author of the study, in the media report. Although it is not yet clear what the source of the signal was, science does not assume that it was extraterrestrial life.

“While we would of course like to find evidence of extraterrestrial life one day, the process of investigating BLC1 was in itself extremely scientifically valuable,” continued Sheikh. In the two-year analysis it was found that the frequency was roughly the same as other radio interference recorded at the same time as the occurrence of BLC1.

The foreign signal from the region around the star Proxima Centauri is reminiscent of the so-called “Wow!” Signal, which was recorded in 1977 in Ohio. In this case, too, scientists have not yet been able to identify the source. However, it became very popular because the observers wrote “Wow!” Next to their notes. (Tobias Utz) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

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