From oregonlive.com >
Two astronomers believe they have found evidence that extraterrestrials are trying to make us aware of their existence. They note “peculiar periodic spectral modulations” in 234 of the 2.5 million stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and conclude that these “strobe-like bursts” could be “generated by Extraterrestrial Intelligence.”
Laval University’s Ermanno F. Borra and Eric Trottier write in their draft paper:
The signals cannot be caused by instrumental or data analysis effects because they are present in only a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range and because signal to noise ratio considerations predict that the signal should mostly be detected in the brightest objects, while this is not the case. We consider several possibilities, such as rotational transitions in molecules, rapid pulsations, Fourier transform of spectral lines and signals generated by Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI). They cannot be generated by molecules or rapid pulsations. It is highly unlikely that they come from the Fourier transform of spectral lines because too many strong lines located at nearly periodic frequencies are needed. Finally we consider the possibility, predicted in a previous published paper, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by Extraterrestrial Intelligence to makes us aware of their existence.
Bec Crew at the science-news website Science Alert, for one, is dubious. Crew says the claim “that 234 extraterrestrial civilizations might be beaming a coordinated light signal toward earth based on anomalies in the data is extremely premature,” adding that Borra and Trottier appear to have approached their work with a preconceived result in mind based on that previous published paper. Crew continues:
“It’s also pretty irresponsible to be throwing the possibility of ‘Aliens!’ around, given the fact that the paper has yet to be formally peer-reviewed, and replication of the results has not been attempted by an independent research team.”
But with those caveats noted, Crew acknowledges that the research is intriguing enough that the respected Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Research Center is going to check it out.
The Stephen Hawking-backed Breakthrough Listen project at SETI said in a statement that Borra and Trottier’s observations “are certainly worthy of additional study. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It is too early to unequivocally attribute these purported signals to the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations.”
That’s pretty much what the experts told Richard Dreyfuss in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” isn’t it?