A team of Russian astronomers recently announced a strange radio signal transmission that they received last year from a distant star. Currently, California scientists and researchers are trying to understand where the signal came from and if it belongs to an extraterrestrial society.

The signal, received by the Russians, might have come from a star very similar to our Sun, called HD 164595. The latter is located around 94 light-years away from Earth. A team of astronomers from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) institute is using all of their resources to determine if the signal could belong to a non-human society or phenomenon.

Image credit: SAO RAS.

The team of researchers became interested in the signal after Claudio Maccone, an Italian Researcher from SETI, discussed the Russian finding with his colleagues.

The scientist’s attention was caught because of the star where the signal came from. Astronomers from all over the world have described their excitement over the strange signal.

“The signal is intriguing because it comes from the vicinity of a sun-like star, and if it’s artificial its strength is great enough that it was made by a civilization with capabilities beyond those of humankind,” Douglas Vakoch, who is the president of the METI International, an association that looks for extraterrestrial intelligence, told CNN News.

A strange signal 

The radio signal came from star HD 164595 and researchers have found it has its own planet orbiting around. According to scientists the planet its about the same size than Neptune and orbits really close to the star.

Researchers are discussing the possibilities of the signal belonging to an extraterrestrial civilization, and the first explanation is the amount of strength needed to send that message to Earth.

SETI ET Signal
“Raw” record of the signal. Image Credit: Bursov et al.

The signal had to travel 554 trillion miles to get to Earth, and if it were an artificial signal, it needed at least a trillion watts of power to get to our home planet. Researchers explain the energy required is equivalent to the total energy consumed by all humankind.

Paul Gilster, a research scientist of the Tau Zero Foundation, explained to CNN that the strength needed to send an artificial signal could only belong to a more advanced civilization, which Gilster categorized as a Type II on the Karashev scale.

This scale was first brought up by Soviet astronomers as a way to classify different types of civilizations according to their technological resources. According to these measures, a Type II society will have to use the energy located on its star to transmit such a signal.

However, scientists are claiming that more corroboration needs to be made on the matter before jumping to conclusions. SETI astronomers have been investigating star HD 164595 and haven’t found any traces of the signal.

So far, SETI researchers will continue to study star HD 164595 in case something similar to the signal tries to contact Earth again.

“There are so much more likely things than aliens, the strong probability is it was a satellite that got in the line of the telescope, or someone turned on their microwave oven nearby, or it could be a star doing something interesting,” said Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge.

Source: CNN