Astronomers have detected mysterious radio signals coming from the direction of a small, dim star located about 11 light-years from Earth.
The signals came from a red dwarf star – Ross 128 (GJ 447) – which is around 2,800 times dimmer than the Sun and is not yet known to have any planets, researchers said.
The “strange” radio signals were detected by astronomers at the University of Puerto Rico in May, using the Arecibo Observatory, which is a massive radio telescope built inside of a Puerto Rican sinkhole.
Although unlikely, the possibility that signals came from intelligent extraterrestrial life cannot be ruled out yet, said Abel Mendez, an astrobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.
“In case you are wondering, the recurrent aliens hypothesis is at the bottom of many other better explanations,” Mendez told ‘Business Insider’.
However, the source of the mysterious signals still eludes the team.
“We do not know the origin of these signals but there are three main possible explanations: they could be emissions from ‘Ross 128’ similar to Type II solar flares, emissions from another object in the field of view of ‘Ross 128’, or just burst from a high orbit satellite since low orbit satellites are quick to move out of the field of view,” Mendez added.
The signals are probably too dim for other radio telescopes in the world and are currently under calibration.