Several mysterious and unidentified radio sources in deep space cannot be explained despite months of observation by a team of Italian scientists, according to research published Wednesday.
Researchers observed 21 bright radio sources, but were baffled because the sources weren’t emitting light in the optical or ultraviolet spectrum, meaning they probably weren’t emitted by an individual star. This means the source of the radio waves is unknown and could potentially be an extraterrestrial signal.
“We have investigated a group of unassociated radio sources included in the 3CR catalog to increase the multi-frequency information on them and possibly obtain an identification,” the researchers wrote in the paper. “After conducting Swift observations of 21 bright NVSS sources corresponding to 3CR sources classified as unassociated in the third update of the 3CR catalogue, we have obtained new X-ray detections for nine of them.”
The research, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, used NASA’s Swift space observatory. Scientists speculated that the sources could come from obscure galaxies of stars.
It is almost certainly too soon to attribute an extraterrestrial source to the radio waves. A previous unexplained and potentially alien signal recently discovered by astronomers was actually caused by an old Soviet military satellite.
Scientists also found possible evidence of an extraterrestrial civilization last October, when astronomers with Yale University and other top schools published a study that used NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to examine the star KIC 8462852. What astronomers found astounded them: The star had light patterns that were consistent with large orbiting masses that blocked out some of the star’s light.
Recent discoveries of planets outside the solar system drastically increase the likelihood that other technologically advanced civilizations exist. Astronomers estimate the odds of humanity being the only civilization in the universe are less than one chance in about “10 billion trillion.” Advanced alien civilizations in the universe are equal to the number of habitable planets multiplied by the likelihood of a technological species developing on one of these planets, astronomers conclude. Researchers estimate that there are roughly 10 billion alien civilizations in the history of the universe.
Astronomers frequently misjudge abnormal stellar occurrences and, usually, the abnormalities are simply a new phenomenon.
In 1967, a graduate student in astronomy, found an usual pulsing radio signal so predictable it seemed to be a sign of intelligent life. The astronomers even nicknamed the signal LGM-1, for “little green men,” and believed they had detected a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization, but it turned out to be the first pulsar.
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