Even more intriguing is the fact that the signals come from Sun-like stars.
A team of Canadian astrophysicists working with Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescopes have discovered unusual activity in 234 star systems that could be interpreted as signs of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). The data gathered by the scientists suggests the signals originate from the stars themselves, which means the senders must be advanced enough to divert and manipulate the energy output of their parent star. This indicates that the rise of Type II civilizations on the Kardashev scale in our galaxy might be much more common than previously thought.
In a recently-published paper, Professors Ermano F. Borra and Eric Trottier of the Laval University in Quebec argue that the unusual character of the light pulses coming from 234 sun-like stars could be the result of broadcasts intended to crisscross interstellar space.
The paper describes the anomalies as “peculiar periodic spectral modulations in a small fraction of solar type stars.” These modulations could originate from extremely powerful lasers or even from the manipulation of the star’s light output by a sufficiently advanced ETI. The former hypothesis is supported by the fact that the signals themselves appear embedded in their corresponding star’s light spectrum. It makes sense that an advanced alien civilization knows where others would be looking when searching for signs of intelligent life.
“The fact that only a small fraction of stars, in a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the sun, has the signal in agreement with the ETI hypothesis since we intuitively would expect that solar type stars would have ETI and only a small fraction of them would have ETI,” the authors wrote.
What makes these essentially LASER signals more puzzling is the fact that they all alike. Data shows that all of the two hundred and thirty-four signals were emitted in a very narrow spectral range (think of it as light frequency) as if part of a greater array or even as a result of a fixed galactic frequency being in order.
“The ETI hypothesis requires that all different ETI transmitters choose to broadcast with the same time separation of pulses and one may wonder why they do so. This is a highly speculative issue that may have several explanations. A possible explanation that makes sense is that all ETI use the same time separation to make it clear that the pulses all come from ETI.“
Extensive statistical analysis ruled out instrument flukes or corrupt data gathered from the stars. The astrophysicists considered other possible causes for the signals, but none matched their precise spectral profile.
This sounds too good to be true but wait, it gets even better.
Long before these signals were detected, Prof. Borra theorized their very existence and characteristics and published his findings in Cornell University’s arXiv scientific archive. In the paper, he detailed how such signals could be hidden within the star’s visible emissions but still recognizable in data gathered by those who know what to look for.
“Theory, confirmed by published experiments, shows that periodic signals in spectra can be easily generated by sending light pulses separated by constant time intervals,” Prof. Borra wrote. “[…] In particular, technology now available on Earth could be used to send signals having the required energy to be detected at a target located 1000 light years away. Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI) could use these signals to make us aware of their existence.”
In all likelihood, these findings will be subjected to scientific scrutiny in the following period and if the allegations of Prof. Borra stand true, his work might make him the man of the decade. Nay, the century.
The discovery of ETIs or better yet, the uncovering of clues about their presence would herald a new age for humanity. If extremely advanced alien civilizations exist in our galaxy and even more, communicate with each other on established frequencies, we want in.
Surely, if they choose to broadcast their presence, they must have somehow overcome the great peril proposed by Stephen Hawking. The physicist believes we should be wary of contacting civilizations that are way ahead of us, lest we end up like the Aztecs, who were mercilessly slaughtered by Cortés’ superior forces.
In their paper’s conclusion, Prof. Borra and Trottier emphasize the highly speculative nature of their argument and the need for further research. Still, they contacted SETI scientists, who were very receptive to the subject.
We’ll keep you posted.
Image credit: juliedillon/Julian Faylona/DeviantArt