Sit down and chill for a second if you will. We may have visitors.
Is it a coincidence or not that just weeks after the trailer for the Amy Adams alien linguist movie Arrival hit, we find out that scientists have received a “strong signal” from a “sun-like star”?
According to astronomers, the reported signal via Russia—from a star 94 light years away—indicates there might be life out there trying to communicate with us.
An international team of researchers is now examining the radio signal and its star, HD 164595 — described in a paper by Italian astronomer Claudio Maccone and others as a “strong candidate for SETI” — in the hopes of determining its origin.
(SETI means extraterrestrial intelligence.) Put on your helmets. Earth is about to get real interesting:
Paul Gilster of the Tau Zero Foundation, which conducts interstellar research, said that if the signal was artificial, its strength suggested it would have to come from a civilization more advanced than our own.
Such a civilization would likely be Type II on the Kardashev scale, an attempt by the Soviet astronomer of the same name to categorize various technological stages of civilizations.
Some scientists are excited. Astronomer Douglas Vakoch told CNN, “The signal from HD 164595 is intriguing, because it comes from the vicinity of a sun-like star, and if it’s artificial, its strength is great enough that it was clearly made by a civilization with capabilities beyond those of humankind.” But as usual with these stranger things, others remain skeptical. Our friends at Gizmodo quoted SETI@home’s Daren Lynch, who thinks, “It’s relatively uninteresting from a SETI standpoint.” He will likely be the first to disappear.
More research needs to be done, of course, to rule out other potential explanations for the signal, including “gravitational lensing,” a situation in which “a signal behind a planet or other large object appears to be far stronger than it actually is, as potential causes,” according to CNN. Still, technically, yes it is possible that aliens are trying to say whaddup.
*If you want them to be.