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‘Fred’: A mysterious signal from space has been decoded

  • fromTobias Ötz


Researchers discover a mysterious signal from space. The study now shows what this is all about.

Canberra – Exploring the universe in all its aspects has occupied science for decades. For example, the human race continues to question whether or not there is life beyond Earth. One initiative that has addressed this issue extensively since 2015 is the Hacking Initiative. Presenting the project, British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking said: “We believe that life on Earth arose spontaneously. So there must be more life in the infinite universe.” According to Hawking, the project is “the greatest scientific research into intelligent life outside Earth.”

The two central components of “breakthrough” research are very powerful radio telescopes, which have been placed in the USA and Australia. The Australian telescope made an interesting discovery in 2019: it could record an hour-long radio signal, later called BLC1.

According to the researchers of the project, this was a “one-time signal”, which was unique, never repeated, and has hitherto been associated with intelligent civilizations. It was simply “unique,” Sophia Sheikh of the Berkeley City Research Center told US news portal The Daily Beast.

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A mysterious signal has been detected from space

Scientists recently published the results of their research on this radio signal in a study in the specialized journal natural astronomy. It states, among other things, that aircraft or satellites can be excluded as signal sources because they have been constantly present over a long period of time. According to the researchers, the signal comes from a dense region around the star Proxima Centauri. The star has been explored by NASA for some time.

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“We can say with confidence that BLC1 matches human radio frequency interference from some type of terrestrial technology,” Sheikh, co-author of the study, said in the media report. Although the source of the signal is not clear, science does not assume that it was extraterrestrial life.

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“While of course we would like to find evidence of extraterrestrial life one day, the process of investigating BLC1 itself has been of very scientific value,” Sheikh continued. In a two-year analysis, it was found that the frequency was approximately the same as the radio interference recorded at the same time as BLC1.

The foreign signal from the region around the star Proxima Centauri is reminiscent of the so-called “Wow!” , which was registered in 1977 in Ohio. In this case, too, scientists have not yet been able to determine the source. However, it was so popular that observers wrote “Wow!” next to their notes. (Tobias Otz)