Scientists have come to a remarkable conclusion about the famous "Weird!" signal from deep in space, and they've determined it wasn't aliens.
It was a bizarre radio signal that floored scientists just weeks ago and was referred to as “Weird!”, and now they think they have an explanation that doesn’t involve aliens. Researchers have announced that on May 12, the massive 1,000 foot wide Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico picked up a strange signal near Ross 128, which is a red dwarf star 11 light years from Earth.
The signal was pretty consistent with what they thought would be how an alien civilization would sound if it existed. But they acknowledged at the time that this was at the very bottom of the list of possible explanations, determined that flares and emissions from other objects in the field of view would be more likely.
And now, follow-up observations by multiple telescopes inlucding Arecibo suggests that this hypothesis is the most likely one. However, it doesn’t explain the strong dispersion-like features of those signals, although multiple reflections may have caused the distoritions, researchers says.
“Last week we distributed a press release announcing the Planetary Habitability Laboratory’s new collaboration with other observatories to study the red dwarf stars Barnard’s Star and Ross 128,” reads a statement from University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. “We wanted to observe Barnard’s Star because it is a nearby star that might have planets and is currently being observed by the Red Dots project. We also wanted to observe, again, Ross 128 because in our previous observing campaign performed in May 2017 using the Arecibo Observatory we detected some peculiar signals from this star. Our project using the Arecibo Observatory, the world’s most active and most sensitive single-dish radio telescope, was originally aimed at searching for radio emissions from red dwarf stars intended to understand their stellar activity and any star-planet interactions.”