This year we are not missing anything. A strange signal has been detected from a nearby star, Proxima Centauri.
Dubbed the “Wow 2020 Signal”, the signal from Proxima Centauri (one of the three stars that make up the alpha centauri system) was detected as part of the Breakthrough Listen project which works on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The wow signal of the new millennium gentlemen. The alien signal from another sun, from other planets. But are we sure?
In a rather unusual circumstance, news of the detection from Proxima Centauri appears to have leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian by one of the scientists involved before the results were officially published.
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This is not the way science usually operates, as it means that the data is not yet available in newspapers for others to see.
An extraterrestrial signal?
The signal detected by Proxima Centauri is really interesting. Although experts have no explanation for these extraterrestrial signals, they are skeptical that it is direct evidence of intelligent life. The SETI Institute, one of the largest organizations involved in SETI, warned in a post on his blog that this alien message could be simply a blunder, even if not explainable at the moment. "It could be just us, sidetracked by our own technology."
As reported by the Guardian, alien messages from Proxima Centauri were detected between April and May over a 30-hour observation period using the Parkes telescope in Australia. The radio emission from space was about 980 MHz and appeared to change in frequency along with the movement of one of the planets in the system.
But experts have raised doubts about the likelihood of the signal being sent from extraterrestrials. No messages (or messages) from the aliens, then?
Signal from Proxima Centauri: more questions than answers
“The idea of a technologically advanced civilization living around our closest stellar neighbor would be truly extraordinary. But at the moment, with these signals from space we are left with more questions than answers ”. To say it is Franck Marchis, senior astronomer at SETI Institute and Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar.
To begin with, some doubts about these extraterrestrial messages also come to Marchis. How come the signals from space from Proxima Centauri and Alpha Centauri were only detected once in 30 hours in April and May? Why didn't observers warn the scientific community to confirm the signal after its discovery?
Marchis went on to emphasize how unlikely it is that an intelligent civilization could be born so close to us: “There are 300 million exoplanets that could be habitable in our galaxy, which is 200.000 light years across. It would be a truly incredible coincidence that two civilizations (ours and the one that would be on Proxima Centauri boc) used the same technology at the same time “.
While I'm excited about receiving messages from space, it really seems highly unlikely. I also doubt that this signal from space comes from extraterrestrial civilizations.
I suspect we will quickly find a more concrete explanation for the origin of these latest extraterrestrial messages from Proxima Centauri.
Gianluca Riccio, born in 1975, is the creative director of an advertising agency, copywriter and journalist. He is affiliated with Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists. Since 2006 he directs Futuroprossimo.it, the Italian resource of Futurology.
Futuroprossimo.it is an Italian resource of futurology opened since 2006: every day news about the near future. Scientific discoveries, medical research, prototypes, concepts and predictions about the future for free.
Gianluca Riccio, copywriter and journalist - Born in 1975, he is the creative director of an advertising agency, he is affiliated with the Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists.