first_imgAstronomers working on the SETI project have reported a peculiar signal, one that could potentially indicate the existence of alien life in a solar system 95 light years away. It is also possible this is yet another false alarm caused by a terrestrial radio signal. We don’t know the true origin yet, but the solar system the signal appears to be coming from is a good candidate for extraterrestrial life. The observation was made with the RATAN-600 radio telescope (above) in Zelenchukskaya, Russia on May 15, 2015, but has only recently been analyzed. The star in question is HD 164595 about the same mass and temperature as our own. It is known to have one exoplanet, a gas giant similar in size to Neptune. There could, however, be habitable moons or smaller planets in the system that we are not able to detect at this time. The signal an extremely high power isotropic beacon in the 11GHz range. For an alien to have sent that from 95 light years away, we’d be talking about a very advanced civilization. Paul Gilster of SETI speculates it would have to be a Kardashev Type II civilization. That means they would have harnessed the full energy output of HD 164595.That all sounds very fanciful and cool, but there’s another, much more mundane possibility. According to Astronomer Nick Suntzeff from Texas A&M University, it’s more plausible that the signal has terrestrial origins. A signal much closer to Earth (i.e. a satellite) that was merely coming from the same direction as HD 164595 would have had much lower initial power. It might simply be a military signal from a satellite pinging a ground station. Astronomers will have to keep an eye on HD 164595 to see if it happens again.last_img read more