Scientists writing in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have found unusual signals emanating from a group of stars that are “signals probably from extraterrestrial intelligence.” The signals “have exactly the shape of a signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this [extraterrestrial intelligence] hypothesis.”
Their paper, “Discovery of peculiar periodic spectral modulations in a small fraction of solar type stars,” details their hypothesis that these signals indicate some sort of alien intelligence.
“The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis” the paper’s authors, E.F. Borra and E. Trottier, wrote.
Before you go out and found a doomsday cult it should be noted that these signals are not completely confirmed to be generated by intelligent life. In fact, the signals could be formed by chemical reactions in certain stars.
“At this stage, this hypothesis needs to be confirmed with further work,” write the authors. “Although unlikely, there is also a possibility that the signals are due to highly peculiar chemical compositions in a small fraction of galactic halo stars.”
The signals are a set of repeated bursts that would suggest an effort by aliens to notify us of their presence. Not many are buying the claim. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, told Astronomy Magazine that the paper is ringing bells in the astronomy community.
“Apparently several — more than three or four — referees have been disinclined to see this published. I am quite skeptical, in particular of the data processing that can take spectrally sampled data, and infer time variations. So I’d be a little careful,” he said.
Even the authors note they took a few leaps in their conclusions. In the end they stand by their hypothesis but ask for further study.
“This is a complex and highly speculative issue and we shall not delve on it,” they wrote.