A star located at 11 light years from Earth is transmitting “strange” radio signals.
Image Credit: Planetary Habitability Laboratory
The mysterious signals come from Ross 128, an unexplored dwarf star. Researchers suggest that the signals appear “almost periodically”, suggesting that further investigation is needed to find the exact source.
Radio signals were detected via the Arecibo Observatory, a huge telescope in Puerto Rico. Professor Abel Mendez, an astrobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico, said that the signals were not transmitted by aliens, but it does not rule out this possibility.
He suggests that the signals could be transmitted by a satellite orbiting the star and blocking the field of view of the telescope. “Arecibo’s field of view is not very wide, so there is the possibility that a certain object in front of the star can transmit radio signals”, Mendez said. On his personal blog, Mendez said that “we have not noticed any object that can emit radio signals at such a high level”.
Another hypothesis suggests that the signals could come from starburst storms, an explosion of energy coming from the surface of the star. This type of explosions can travel at the speed of light and emit strong radio signals that destroy communications satellites on Earth.
Mayak is a Russian cubesat developed by a group of young scientists named “Your sector of space” with support of the Moscow State University of Mechanical Engineering (MSUME). Mayak is intended to become the brightest orbital object in the night sky by deploying an optical reflector.
In orbit, the 3U CubeSat will deploy four triangular reflectors, 4 m2 each, which form a tetrahedral shape. The reflectors are made from metallized membrane with reflection coefficient of 95%. The reflector will provide a -10 optical magnitude at the beginning of the flight to allow for easy tracking. Mayak will be put into a tumbling motion over all axes, with at least 1 revolution per second.
The satellite mission has three objectives:
- To demonstrate that space has become closer, and now it’s possible for a group of friends and like-minded people to launch a real satellite.
- To perform real-life tests of an aerodynamic braking system that can be used to de-orbit space debris in the future safely and without a need for a booster.
- To collect new data about atmospheric density at high altitudes and use it as a basis for cross-checks of calulations of apparent magnitude of space objects and satellites.
- Source: Gunter’s Space Page