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Astronomers detect strange ‘radio signals’ coming from dwarf star

Dwarf planet Ceres is seen in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, as illustrated in this undated artist's conception released by NASA January 22, 2014. Ceres, one of the most intriguing objects in the solar system, is gushing water vapor from its frigid surface into space, scientists said on Wednesday in a finding that raises questions about whether it might be hospitable to life. REUTERS/NASA/ESA/Handout via Reuters (OUTER SPACE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

London: To the delight of those trying to find life beyond our solar system, a team of astronomers has claimed to have picked up “strange signals” emanating from a star 11 light years away.

The signals were detected by researchers from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico who are studying red dwarf stars.

On May 12 this year, the team observed mysterious radio signals emanating from a star called “Ross 128”.

“We realised that there were some very peculiar signals in the 10-minute dynamic spectrum that we obtained from ‘Ross 128’ (GJ 447), observed May 12,” wrote professor Abel Mendez, planetary astrobiologist and director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico in a blog post.

“In case you are wondering, the recurrent aliens hypothesis is at the bottom of many other better explanations,” Mendez added.

However, the source of the mysterious signals still eludes the team.

“We do not know the origin of these signals but there are three main possible explanations: they could be emissions from ‘Ross 128’ similar to Type II solar flares, emissions from another object in the field of view of ‘Ross 128′, or just burst from a high orbit satellite since low orbit satellites are quick to move out of the field of view,” Mendez added.

The signals are probably too dim for other radio telescopes in the world and are currently under calibration.

“Therefore, we have a mystery here and the three main explanations are as good as any at this moment,” the professor said.

Dwarf stars have been shown to have planets orbiting the habitable, or ‘goldilocks,’ zone, as is the case with the recently discovered TRAPPIST-1, RT reported.

–IANS