Promising-looking SETI signal turns out to be of human origin - Ars Technica
Oct 27, 2021 1 min, 3 secs
In early October, researchers published papers suggesting that an observation assigned to one of the most distant galaxies known was actually the product of space junk orbiting Earth.

And on Monday, the Breakthrough Listen project described just how hard it worked to determine that a promising-looking SETI signal was actually the product of Earth-bound electronics.

If the flash originated there, the red shift caused by the intervening distance would mean that the original burst was in the UV range, suggesting it was the product of a supernova.

But since then, other papers have suggested that, giving the timing and source of the observations, the location would also have coincided with the position of a defunct Russian booster.

The authors of the original paper describing the observations don't think the critiques hold water.

Regardless of how those arguments turn out, the presence of space junk has clearly made interpreting observations considerably more complicated.

On Monday, Breakthrough Listen released two papers that describe a SETI observation campaign it conducted focused on Proxima Centauri.

When these and other factors were considered, only one signal, known as blc1 (Breakthrough Listen candidate one), was deemed worth looking at in detail.

So, in theory, this looks exactly like what researchers at Breakthrough Listen were looking for.


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