Scientists at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have tracked some mysterious radio signals coming from a Red Dwarf Star named Ross 128. This faint dwarf star is located about 11 light years away from Earth, in the constellation of Virgo, and is too dim to be seen with the naked eye.

Weird radio signals from Ross 128

The odd signals from Ross 128 were identified in May this year when researchers at the Arecibo Observatory were analyzing information coming from a group of red dwarfs stars, including Wolf 359, Ross 128, Gliese 436, HD 95735, BD +202465, and K2-18.

The aim of this study was to identify planets or other objects around these stars. When scientists examined the data from Ross 128, they noticed some weird radio signals coming from the star in the ten-minute dynamic spectrum. According to the team, these radio signals consisted of broadband non-polarized, quasi-periodic pulses demonstrating strong dispersion-like features. According to researchers, these signals can’t be local radio frequency interferences as they are unique to red dwarf star Ross 128.

Origin of these signals

Professor Abel Mendez of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico says there are very remote chances of the signals being sent by some species of aliens.

While scientists have no idea about the origin of these signals, they do talk about three main possibilities. First, the dwarf star could be emitting these signals, similar to Type II solar flares emitted by the sun. Second, they could be emissions from some other object in the field of view of the star. Lastly, they could also be signals coming from a high orbit satellite.

Scientists need more time and data to figure out the source of the signal. On July 16, the team carried out another observation of the red dwarf star. They also observed Barnard's Star, a red dwarf located just six light-years away from Earth. The results of these observations are expected to be announced by next week. Some other teams of astronomers are also studying these signals.

Scientists associated with SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute have been using the Allen Telescope Array to observe the red dwarf star.

About Ross 128

Ross 128 was discovered by Frank Elmore Ross in 1925. This dwarf star is also known by the name FI Virginis, and its nearest neighbor is Wolf 359 which lies at a distance of 3.79 light-years from it.