An unusual signal registered by the RATAN-600 radio telescope at the Zelenchukskaya observatory in the North Caucasus Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia is a terrestrial disturbance rather than a sound from an unearthly civilization, telescope researcher Yulia Sotnikova told TASS on Tuesday. Earlier it was reported that the telescope possibly registered a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization sent from a stellar system HD 164595 in the constellation Hercules.
"Last and this year, the telescope’s work has focused on searching for sun-like stars," Sotnikova said.
"There have been no scientific results within the framework of this research so far. Some time ago, in the spring of this year, an unusual signal was received but its analysis showed that it was most likely a terrestrial disturbance," she noted, adding that the observatory was preparing the text of an official disclaimer to dismiss media reports on the discovery of a signal from an unearthly civilization.
Director of the Institute of Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Ipatov told TASS that back at the Soviet period he had been part of a group of young astronomers at the special astrophysical observatory searching for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.
"We, indeed, discovered an unusual signal. However, an additional check showed that it was emanating from a Soviet military satellite, which had not been entered into any of the catalogs of celestial bodies," Ipatov said.
Researchers with the RATAN-600 radio telescope picked up an unusual microwave transmission on May 15, 2015, operating at a wavelength of 2.7 cm – approximately 11 GHz – whose source appears to be the Sun-like star HD 164595, located some 94 light years away.
"So what’s the bottom line? Could it be another society sending a signal our way? Of course, that’s possible. However, there are many other plausible explanations for this claimed transmission – including terrestrial interference. Without a confirmation of this signal, we can only say that it’s 'interesting.'" said Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute.
The star is known to host one planet. This exoplanet is likely "Neptune-like," approximately 4% the mass of Jupiter. With a 40-day orbit, that body is likely too hot to harbor life, but undetected planets could also exist in the system.
The SETI Institute used the Allen Telescope Array in northern California to track the star. They saw nothing, but will conduct further observations.