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Alien hunters are claiming that a signal traced to a sun-like star could be an attempt by extra-terrestrials to make contact with earth.
The signal appears to be originating from a sun-like star known as HD 164595 in the constellation Hercules, which is around 95 light years away from Earth.
HD 164595 is interesting to scientists because it's a sun-like star, as well as having at least one 'warm Neptune' planet in its orbit.
Scientists have suggested the signal is more likely to be a natural phenomenon, such as 'microlensing', caused by changes to the strength of a star's gravity than it is extra-terrestrials.
However, according to website GeekWire, SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) research groups are less convinced. The research groups believe there is a chance the signal could be an intentional effort by aliens to make contact with us.
Doug Vakoch, president of San Francisco-based METI International, said his research group would try observing HD 164595 as early as tonight
In an email to GeekWire, he said: "Standard SETI protocols call for confirmation of possible signals from a separate observatory. This helps ensure that the original signal didn't arise from a technical glitch in the original observatory, and it helps rule out a hoax perpetuated by some enterprising graduate students targeting a SETI experiment.
"In the past, plans for SETI follow-up observations have focused on confirmation of the original signal, seeking a repeat signal at the same frequency. That's a critical step for confirmation - and we don't yet have evidence that this sort of follow-up has happened for HD 164595.
"In addition, we need to be alert to the possibility that if we do really find a signal from an advanced civilization, they are also transmitting at other frequencies than the one where we first detected them. That's why it's so important to prepare for follow-up SETI observations at both radio and optical frequencies, to be launched as soon as we detect a credible candidate signal at any frequency."
At least two SETI research groups are aiming to track the star. The SETI Institute will be using the Allen Telescope Array in northern California, while METI International will be using the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory in Panama.
Hopefully we'll know more in the near future.
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