A Spike In Radio Signals From A Nearby Star Has Some Thirsty Scientists Thinking We May Have Found Aliens

It’s been a great year for people fiending for alien life. And, let’s be honest here, who isn’t hungry for some extra-terrestrials?

There was the alien megastructure around KIC 8452852, Stephen Hawking’s and Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Listen announcement , and last week’s discovery of Proxima b.

All big things.

Now this. A star just 95 light years away has recently sent a surge in radio signals toward Earth.

Aliens trying to contact us, right? Well, there are some naysayers. But first, the facts.

Researchers detected a ton of radio signals eminating from HD 164595, a sun-like star in the constellation Hercules. From Centauri Dreams:

An international team of researchers has announced the detection of “a strong signal in the direction of HD164595.” The detection was made with the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, in the Karachay–Cherkess Republic of Russia, not far from the border with Georgia in the Caucasus.

The signal was received on May 15, 2015, 18:01:15.65 (sidereal time), at a wavelength of 2.7 cm. The estimated amplitude of the signal is 750 mJy.

The most likely, boring, explanation is microlensing, that of a signal from somewhere else being amplified by the star’s gravity, and focused in one direction. That it is hitting our planet is completely by coincidence.

Yea, fine. Now that we got that out of the way, give me the good shit.

Working out the strength of the signal, the researchers say that if it came from an isotropic beacon, it would be of a power possible only for a Kardashev Type II civilization. If it were a narrow beam signal focused on our Solar System, it would be of a power available to a Kardashev Type I civilization.

For those unfamiliar, a Type II civilization is one that has developed the ability to harness the entire power of their host star. Us pansies here on Earth haven’t even reached Type I.

The star, known as HD 164595, is about a 100 million years younger than our sun, and home to at least one confirmed exoplanet. But there could be more.

Here’s the graph showing the spike. You, uninformed and unable to properly interpret this graph, tell me, who is also uninformed and unable to properly interpret this graph.

Clearly aliens, right?

Scientists who spotted the spike asked researchers at SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, to investigate the star.

And they agreed! They are going to look at the star tonight. Which means we may find out if aliens exist by tomorrow. (It will probably take longer than that.)

Big year, indeed.

[Via The Daily Mail]