Two scientists claim they may have found evidence of intelligent alien life and published their findings in the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Astronomers Ermanno Borra and Eric Trottier, from the Université Laval in Quebec, examined the stars that were catalogued from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Out of more than 2 million surveyed stars, the scientists found 234 that exhibit spectral modulation.
The stars exhibit rapid bursts of light. The spectral modulation also seems to be identical across many different stars. The scientists said that the signal from the stars is consistent with signals from an alien civilization sending extremely rapid optical pulses that was predicted in an earlier paper by Borra.
Last year, the giant star KIC 8462852 made a stir after scientists found that it emits light patterns different from those observed on other stars. Some considered the idea that the dips in the starlight could indicate the existence of an alien megastructure.
The researchers considered several possible explanations for these light pulses but eventually concluded that these signals can be best explained by extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Borra and Trottier said that the signals are likely from an intelligent alien civilization manipulating the stars to send a message and make us aware that they exist.
"We consider the possibility, predicted in a previous published paper, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by ETI to makes us aware of their existence," the researchers wrote in their study published on Oct. 14.
"We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis."
Not everyone in the scientific community, however, agrees with the astronomers' hypothesis. The Berkeley SETI Research Center (BSRC), which conducts experiments to find potential signals from intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations, said that it is too early to attribute the strange star signals to aliens.
The organization said that the stars exhibiting strange light pulses will be observed using the Automated Planet Finder telescope. In a statement, the BSRC said that in the Rio Scale, which quantifies the detections of phenomena that possibly indicate existence of advanced alien life, the Borra-Trottier result is currently assessed to be 0 or 1 (none/insignificant).
"If the signal were to be confirmed with another independent telescope, its significance would rise, though an exhaustive analysis of other possible explanations, including instrumental phenomena, must be performed before supporting the hypothesis that artificially generated pulses are responsible for the claimed signal," the BSRC said.