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Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - Printable Version

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Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - Crossroads - 12-19-2020

As always with these sorts of stories, don't get your hopes up much, but Breakthrough Listen has detected what they are calling BLC1, which stands for Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1. Researcher Sofia Sheikh compares it to the famous Wow! Signal.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/alien-hunters-discover-mysterious-signal-from-proxima-centauri/

Andrew Siemion says there is no modulation, although I wonder what their limits for detecting one would have been.

Regarding the drift rate, see Jason Wright's tweets:

https://www.twitter.com/Astro_Wright/status/1340119074756550656
https://www.twitter.com/Astro_Wright/status/1340126712596721665

Regarding the localization, see this: https://www.twitter.com/Astro_Wright/status/1340117841077555200

If it were a technosignature I'd bet it came from one of the two more-sun-like main Alpha Centauri stars' vicinities. EDIT: Actually it looks like Alpha Centauri is too far from Proxima Centauri in the sky.

This tweet by another astrophysicist suggests it is man-made interference, however: https://www.twitter.com/ben_amazin/status/1340124947004342272


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - The Astronomer - 12-19-2020

When I read the abstract of this paper, my mind immediately jumped to an earlier paper on radio signal from GJ 1151. Apparently it’s synchrotron emission (don't ask me about the details, I got it from someone else). It's a similar process as the Io aurora in Jupiter.

Quote:Radiation strikes particles in the atmosphere of the orbiting body, ionizing them. Liberated electrons travel up/down the magnetic field lines of the orbited body. When they get close to the parent body they bunch together and emit radio waves. Something, something, ... the radio waves get beamed out as some coherent synchrotron radiation?

At the time I was super excited about the possibility that many red dwarfs with close-in planets would also exhibit this sort of emission - so easy(?) indirect detection of red dwarf planets!

As for aliens, the thought of it never crossed my mind.


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - stevebowers - 12-19-2020

Back in the early years of the 20th Century, Tesla detected radio signals coming from the direction of Mars. He was probably mistaken, and the signals may actually have come from Jupiter, which is a significant radio object. These 'signals' from Proxima may have a similar explanation. A new field of astronomy opens up.


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - Drashner1 - 12-20-2020

This article on the same or a similar phenomenon came out recently as well:

LINK

Todd


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - The Astronomer - 12-20-2020

(12-20-2020, 12:45 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: This article on the same or a similar phenomenon came out recently as well:

LINK

Todd

IIRC that one came from the planet itself. For Proxima it appears to have come from the star, not the planet. Though maybe I should read a bit more on it first to make sure...

https://arxiv.org/abs/2012.07926


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - The Astronomer - 12-20-2020

The original paper of this article below. Never bothered to check the article but I'm pretty sure this is the work it's referencing.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2012.02116


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - Crossroads - 12-20-2020

Okay, so all of that appears to be unrelated to the Breakthrough Listen candidate, though certainly of interest in its own right. The links I posted above are about a narrowband signal which has not been written up in any scientific paper yet, not even on ArXiv. It was apparently leaked to the Guardian, and then a more detailed treatment appeared in Scientific American (which I linked above) and later in National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/12/alien-hunters-detect-mysterious-radio-signal-from-nearby-star/

I think it is artificial, but from our own technology somehow. That is also the leading hypothesis by Breakthrough Listen, but they are trying to rule it out.


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - Crossroads - 12-22-2020

Interesting blog post from Jason Wright about it:

https://sites.psu.edu/astrowright/2020/12/20/blc1-a-candidate-signal-around-proxima/


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - Bear - 12-22-2020

The sheer amount of stuff we have seen out there which does not contain any clear evidence of life is pretty stunning. We're scanning exoplanet atmospheres for evidence of "anomalous" chemistry and world after world after world, we find nothing. We're looking for anomalous colors, for things that don't act the way things without life act, and we're coming up blank, every, damn, time.

If you're talking about intelligent, technological life, we've been looking even harder for that. We've been pointing our radio telescopes all over the sky, we've been analyzing variations in brightness of stars, we've been looking for infrared-heavy stars that could be the beginnings of a Dyson swarm, and time after time - hundreds of thousands of times, maybe tens of millions - we find Jack.

And if you discount the eyeblink of galactic time between first radio signals and enormous interstellar civilization, then we'd be looking for something huge and relatively obvious, and we can look at thousands and thousands of entire galaxies and say, definitively, that we don't see anything like that.

I'm just sayin', if there's somebody the next star over using radio, and we've been scanning the entire galaxy without finding any evidence of anybody anywhere, there's something really fishy about the odds and coincidences here.


RE: Radio Signal From Direction of Proxima Centauri - Bear - 12-22-2020

To all the people who are about to tell me I'm making a lot of assumptions about what life looks like ... well, maybe so. There are a lot of different things intelligence could look like. It could operate on different time scales, or different wavelengths, or it could have a different chemical/mechanical substrate, etc. It could be a giant post-biological interlocked network system containing no single thing that could be considered to be an individual consciousness.

But most of those things would necessarily find the same kind of utility in building a Dyson Swarm, and things in the outer fringes of Dyson swarms naturally escape the Hill sphere and go into orbit around other stars sometimes. Even if they don't make a particular effort to spread out, at least some of them will spread out. They'll just do it more slowly.

Most of the categorical alternatives anybody has ever offered are clear nonsense. Niven (in Bowl Of Heaven) writes about Intelligences that look and act like stones. I immediately think, without the ability to manipulate their environment why would intelligence be a useful adaptation for them? The energy expenditure for brains is a wasteful maladaptation for a sessile life form. To be even comprehensible as a possibility there has to be some evolutionary path that leads to it and no obviously simpler or more efficient way it can be while surviving as well.