According to The Guardian, astronomers who are looking for radio signals from alien civilizations have discovered an “intriguing signal” from Proxima Centauri, the closest star system to the Sun.
Researchers are still preparing a discovery document and the data has not been released to the public. But the signal is reportedly a narrow beam of 980 MHz radio waves discovered in April and May 2019 at the Parkes Telescope in Australia. The Parkes Telescope is part of the $100 million Breakthrough Listen project to search for radio signals from technology sources outside the solar system. The 980 MHz signals appeared once and was never detected again. This frequency is important because, as Scientific American points out, it is in this band of radio waves that signals from artificial ships and satellites are usually absent.
Breakthrough Listen constantly detects unusual radio signals – between Earth sources, the Sun’s natural radio signal, and natural sources outside the Solar System, there are many radio waves bouncing around. But this signal appears to have come directly from the Proxima Centauri system, just 4.2 light-years from Earth. Even more tempting, the signal reportedly shifted slightly during the observation. It reminded astronomers of the planetary shift. Proxima Centauri has one known rocky planet that resembles Earth and is 17% larger than it.
The Guardian quoted an unnamed source with access to data on the signal as saying, “This is the first serious candidate for alien communications since the Wow signal, a famous radio signal discovered in 1977 that also resembled a signal from an extraterrestrial ship. But the Guardian warns that the signal “is probably also of terrestrial origin.”