Astronomers say they have detected "strange signals" coming from the direction of a small, dim star located about 11 light-years from Earth. The signals came from a red dwarf star - Ross 128 (GJ 447) - which is around 2,800 times dimmer than the Sun and is not yet known to have any planets, researchers said.
The "strange" radio signals were detected by astronomers at the University of Puerto Rico in May, using the Arecibo Observatory, which is a massive radio telescope built inside of a Puerto Rican sinkhole.
Professor Abel Méndez, an astrobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico, said it was unlikely that the signals were sent by aliens, but added that the possibility could not yet be ruled out. 'The SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] groups are aware of the signals,' Professor Méndez told Business Insider.
Professor Méndez said the signals may have instead come from an orbiting satellite, which could have been obstructing the view of the telescope. However, in a July 12 blog post about the mystery of Ross 128, he wrote that "we have never seen satellites emit bursts like that" and called the signals "very peculiar".