Parkes Observatory’s Murriyang radio telescope detected “promising” radio signals that seemed to be extraterrestrial in 2019.
Scientists involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Seti) processed the signals and thought they could be a “technosignature”, evidence of alien technology.
“We think it was an intermodulation, which happens in an amplifier when you have more than one frequency running through it,” Price, who also works for the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, said.
“It’s more than one signal and they have mixed together in a complicated way.”.
Price said to think about “turning it up to eleven”, as in the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap.
United States space agency Nasa is even planning to put a radio telescope on the far side of the moon, where it will be shielded from Earth’s cacophony.
If the microwave was opened while it was still heating, the telescope registered a signal that looked like it came from the atmosphere!
Price said the signal mimicked the way Proxima Centauri moved as seen from Earth – more slowly than a plane or a satellite.
It wasn’t in vain, though, Price said, because now they have developed a new framework to study future signals, a checklist that will be used around the world in the search for life outside it