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Ross 128 signals ??


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#1 silylene

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:00 PM

Astronomers have detected 'strange signals' that may come from a star 11 light-years away

 

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Astronomers say they've detected "strange signals" coming from the direction of a small, dim star located about 11 light-years from Earth.

Researchers picked up the mysterious signals on May 12 using the Arecibo Observatory, a huge radio telescope built inside of a Puerto Rican sinkhole.

The radio signals appear to be coming from Ross 128, a red dwarf star that's not yet known to have any planets and is about 2,800 times dimmer than the sun. Abel Méndez, an astrobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, said the star was observed for 10 minutes, during which time the signal was picked up and observed to be "almost periodic".

Méndez said it's extremely unlikely that intelligent extraterrestrial life is responsible, but noted that the possibility can't yet be ruled out.

"The SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] groups are aware of the signals," Méndez wrote in an email to Business Insider.

 

Explanations for the 'very peculiar' signals

 

 

While Arecibo is known for its role in efforts to search for signals from aliens, it's also great for looking at distant galaxies and pinging near-Earth asteroids.

Méndez thinks the signal is more likely from something humans put in space, perhaps a satellite that passed thousands of miles overhead.

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"The field of view of [Arecibo] is wide enough, so there is the possibility that the signals were caused not by the star but another object in the line of sight," Méndez said, adding that "some communication satellites transmit in the frequencies we observed."

However, in a July 12 blog post about the mystery of Ross 128, he wrote that "we have never seen satellites emit bursts like that" and called the signals "very peculiar".

 

Another possible explanation is a stellar flare, or outburst of energy from the star's surface. Such bursts from the sun travel at light-speed, emit powerful radio signals, and can disrupt satellites and communications on Earth, as well as endanger astronauts.

Solar flares can also be chased by a slower-moving yet more energetic coronal mass ejections: a flood of solar particles that can distort our planet's magnetic field, generate geomagnetic storms, and cripple power grids and fry electronics.

 

Taking another look at Ross 128

 

To see if the signals are still there, Méndez said Arecibo is going to stare down Ross 128 and its surroundings many more times, starting July 16.

"Success will be to find the signal again" at the star's location but not in surrounding directions, he said. "If we don't get the signal again then the mystery deepens."


~~~~~~

 

 

Strange Signals from the Nearby Red Dwarf Star Ross 128
posted Jul 12, 2017, 1:31 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated 9 hours ago ]

 

LINK PHL

 

We are conducting a scientific campaign from the Arecibo Observatory to observe red dwarf star with planets. These observations might provide information about the radiation and magnetic environment around these stars or even hint the presence of new sub-stellar objects including planets. So far, we observed Gliese 436, Ross 128, Wolf 359, HD 95735, BD +202465, V* RY Sex, and K2-18. Only Gliese 436 and K2-18 are known to have planets. Observations were done between April and May 2017 in the C-band (4 to 5 GHz).

 

Two weeks after these observations, we realized that there were some very peculiar signals in the 10-minute dynamic spectrum that we obtained from Ross 128 (GJ 447), observed May 12 at 8:53 PM AST (2017/05/13 00:53:55 UTC). 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 (RFI) since they are unique to Ross 128 and observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar.

 

We do not know the origin of these signals but there are three main possible explanations: they could be (1) emissions from Ross 128 similar to Type II solar flares, (2) emissions from another object in the field of view of Ross 128, or just (3) burst from a high orbit satellite since low orbit satellites are quick to move out of the field of view. The signals are probably too dim for other radio telescopes in the world and FAST is currently under calibration.

 

Each of the possible explanations has their own problems. For example, Type II solar flares occur at much lower frequencies and the dispersion suggests a much farther source or a dense electron field (e.g. the stellar atmosphere?). Also, there are no many nearby objects in the field of view of Ross 128 and we have never seen satellites emit bursts like that, which were common in our other star observations. In case you are wondering, the recurrent aliens hypothesis is at the bottom of many other better explanations.

Therefore, we have a mystery here and the three main explanations are as good as any at this moment. Fortunately, we obtained more time to observe Ross 128 next Sunday, July 16, and we might clarify soon the nature of its radio emissions, but there are no guarantees. We will also observe Barnard’s star that day to collaborate with the Red Dots project. Results from our observations will be presented later that week. I have a Piña Colada ready to celebrate if the signals result to be astronomical in nature.

 

More updates via @ProfAbelMendez, @PlanetaryHabLab, and @NAICObservatory

Hashtag #ross128

 

 

UPDATE 2017/07/17: We successfully observed Ross 128 last night from the Arecibo Observatory. It was raining during the observations but this has a minimal effect on the C-band. SETI Berkeley with the Green Bank Telescope and SETI Institute's ATA joined our observations. We need to get all the data from the other partner observatories to put all things together for a conclusion. Probably by the end of this week.



#2 Mee_n_Mac

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:12 AM

Doesn't China now have a big radio 'scope ? Do they cooperate internationally ?
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity or ignorance. The latter are a lot more common than the former.

#3 Ath3na

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:20 AM

Did you just write "China" and "cooperate" in the same sentence without a negative modifier?!?
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#4 Archer17

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 01:19 PM

In case you missed it this update from the Planetary Habitability Laboratory yesterday (no, it's not aliens):

 

After a careful analysis of the observations we performed last Sunday from the Arecibo Observatory, together with SETI Berkeley using the Green Bank Telescope and the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array, we are now confident about the source of the Weird! Signal. The best explanation is that the signals are transmissions from one or more geostationary satellites. This explains why the signals were within the satellite’s frequencies and only appeared and persisted for Ross 128; this star is close to the celestial equator where many geostationary satellites are located. This fact, though, does not yet explain the strong dispersion-like features of the signals (diagonal lines in the figure); however, It is possible that multiple reflections caused these distortions, but we will need more time to explore this and other possibilities.

The plural of anecdote is not data.


#5 Bill Slugg

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 03:46 PM

Multiple reflections? Huh? The dispersion in frequency might be some modulation feature of the satellite RF output but I doubt it. I don't think spread spectrum modulation works that way. Unless human created, the dispersion is pretty much ironclad proof that it came from far away.



#6 pizzaguy

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:30 AM

Multiple reflections? Huh? The dispersion in frequency might be some modulation feature of the satellite RF output but I doubt it.

I don't doubt it.


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#7 pizzaguy

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:44 AM

I don't think spread spectrum modulation works that way. Unless human created, the dispersion is pretty much ironclad proof that it came from far away.

If it weren't for the fact that the frequencies shown are damn near exactly what INSAT uses for down link, maybe so.  And they are not the only birds that occupy 4.5 to 4.8 GHz in the sky...

 

And it need not be spread-spectrum.   The transponders in use, in some cases, emit many, many carriers or sub carriers within the authorized band.      Hell, even amateur transponders may be repeating several dozen uplink signals at a time.


Edited by pizzaguy, 12 August 2017 - 11:46 AM.

"Ignorance is paradise to the arrogant" - Pizza on May 7, 2016

"Built on the Mercedes R170/SLK320 platform... the Crossfire has taken on, sort of, a cult following."
 
Del is a greedy asshat!  :woot: 



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