Radio Telescopes Detect Alien SOS from Extrasolar Planet
Fri 05/04/01 12:13 AM AEDST
MELBOURNE - Two independent teams of astronomers have decoded an audio S.O.S. from a planet circling a nearby star outside our solar system.
Using a public internet-based database network of dozens of large radio telescopes and combining their weak signals, scientists say they have translated an intergalactic distress message from intelligent beings on a previously unknown planet circling the nearby star Poisson D'Avril in the constellation Pisces, only 6 light-years from the Earth..
According to Dr. Lirpa Sloof who headed a team which studied the data from the Very Large Telescope Array (VLA) in New Mexico, the transmission code was based on the Periodic Table of Elements, a chemical array which is unchanged throughout the universe and which scientists have long considered to be useful for possible communications between the Earth and other-world civilizations.
An Australian team reported that the transmission was not only intelligible, but was successfully translated into fourteen different Earth languages, including English, German, Arabic, and Latin. "This proves that they have been listening to us", said Professor Ralos Ecraf of the Australian consortium, which confirmed the findings in a separate, independent study, details of which are scheduled to be published next week in the scientific journal Universe.
"I can only say at this time that the signal was a request for help, took 6.4 Earth years to travel to us, and contained specific references to Earth events that happened over thirteen years ago", Dr. Ecraf told reporters, refusing further comment.
The star Poisson D'Avril is a supergiant red star in the constellation Pisces, and has long been regarded by scientists as a likely supernova candidate; expected to end its life in a catastrophic explosion and then shrinking to form a black hole from which not even light can escape.