A star located just 11 light-years away from Earth is sending out ‘strange’ radio signals leaving experts baffled.
The mysterious signals appear to be coming from Ross 128, a little-explored red dwarf star which is not known to have any planets surrounding it.
Researchers said the unusual signals were picked up in ‘almost periodic’ bursts, and added further investigation is needed to find the source of the signals.
The radio signals were detected using the Arecibo Observatory, a large radio telescope located in Puerto Rico.
Professor Abel Méndez, an astrobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico, said it was unlikely that the signals were sent by aliens, but added that the possibility could not yet be ruled out.
‘The SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] groups are aware of the signals,’ Professor Méndez told Business Insider.
Professor Méndez said the signals may have instead come from an orbiting satellite, which could have been obstructing the view of the telescope.
‘The field of view of [Arecibo] is wide enough, so there is the possibility that the signals were caused not by the star but another object in the line of sight,’ Méndez said, adding that ‘some communication satellites transmit in the frequencies we observed.’
But in a personal blog post reporting his findings, Professor Méndez said ‘we have never seen satellites emit bursts like that’ and noted that the signals ‘very peculiar’.
Professor Méndez heard the signals over a ten-minute period at 8.53PM ET (1.53AM BST) and wrote that they were ‘unique to Ross 128’.
He added: ‘Observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar.’
The signals could also be the result of a stellar flare, an outburst of energy from the surface of a star.
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