We all want to meet the extra-terrestrial lives that we have been hearing about since childhood. Either they are in the front page news or in the movies and storybooks. They could be the blue ones with big eyes or the Vulcans with big ears, but who knows?
Recently two astronomers, E.F. Borra and E. Trottier, from the Laval University in Canada, have conducted a study that includes a thorough analysis of total 2.5 million stars. The study, "Discovery of peculiar periodic spectral modulations in a small fraction of solar-type stars," which was published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, used information from the Digital Sky Survey and found out that 234 stars, among the 2.5 million, are generating confusing signals.
Although 234 is a small percentage compared to the entire number of stars, according to the astronomers, their signals "have exactly the shape of an ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence) signal."
According to the study conducted by the astronomers, these stars emitting weird signals are not just random; rather they all are "overwhelmingly in the F2 to K1 spectral range." The location is significant because it's positioned within a small spectrum of Sun's surroundings and Sun is the only star that we know has an intelligent species living near it – we, the humans. Now, if we can be here, maybe others can be too, right?
According to the study authors, there can be five potential physical causes behind this spectral modulation, i.e., "instrumental and data reduction effects, rotational transitions in molecules, the Fourier transform of spectral lines, rapid pulsations, and finally the ETI signal predicted by Borra (2012)".
As their study progressed, Borra and Trottier dismissed the reasons "rotational transitions in molecules" and "pulsations" as potential grounds and they stated that Fourier analysis is also highly unlikely to cause such signals; which leaves two possible reasons to be the source of the detected confusing signals - either they are created by the Sloan instrument and data reduction effects or they are, indeed, extraterrestrial intelligent beings waving their hands at us.
Naturewise, the signals are essentially rhythms of light divided into regular intervals. Borra had in 2012 predicted the existence of this kind of signals and this is what he and Trottier had started to find out in the Sloan data. While they did find what they were long for, still both the experts are quite cautious about their own discoveries.
As they mentioned in the study, "Although unlikely, there is also a possibility that the signals are due to highly peculiar chemical compositions in a small fraction of galactic halo stars."
To sum up the entire study, E.F. Borra and E. Trottier have discovered a small but significant number of stars, quite like our Sun, which appear to be sending off peculiar signals towards Earth. These signals resemble the ones that the scientists had predicted that a technologically advanced society would be using to be in touch with other far-away stars.