Updated | Scientists have discovered mystery signals coming from a star 11 light-years away. The “very peculiar” pulses appear to be unique to the red dwarf, scientists say, with observations of similar nearby stars showing no similar behavior.
Researchers at the Arecibo Observatory, in Puerto Rico, were observing a group of red dwarf stars in a bid to identify planets and other objects orbiting them. In April and May, the team recorded information coming from Gliese 436, Ross 128, Wolf 359, HD 95735, BD +202465, V* RY Sex and K2-18.
After analyzing the data, they noticed something odd: Ross 128 had been emitting strange radio signals. In a blog post, Abel Méndez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, said the origin of the radio signals is not known.
“We realized that there were some very peculiar signals in the ten-minute dynamic spectrum that we obtained from Ross 128,” he wrote. “The signals consisted of broadband quasi-periodic non-polarized pulses with very strong dispersion-like features. We believe that the signals are not local radio frequency interferences since they are unique to Ross 128 and observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar.”