Astronomers are investigating a mysterious radio wave from Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the sun.The signal has been named BLC1 (Breakthrough Listen). It was detected by the Parkes telescope in Australia in April and May 2019. The frequency is around 980MHz. “The Breakthrough Listen Team has detected several unusual signals and is carefully investigating. These signals are likely interference that we cannot fully explain. Further analysis is currently being undertaken,” tweeted Pete Worden, chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. The radio waves have not been spotted since their initial observation.
“It’s the most exciting signal that we’ve found in the Breakthrough Listen project, because we haven’t had a signal jump through this many of our filters before,” Sofia Sheikh, from Penn State University, told media. Proxima Centauri is a focus of investigation because scientists know there are at least two planets around it. One of them could be “likely” to be able to support alien life forms. “Because of its profile, it’s very unlikely that the signal was produced by a natural but unknown cosmic source, but who knows… Nature often surprises us,” reads a statement, penned by SETI Institute senior planetary astronomer Franck Marchis.