Signal not likely caused by E.T.

Nick Reimann

After news broke that Russian scientists had discovered a spike in radio signals from a star 94 light years away, the Internet became abuzz with hopes of alien contact.

But astronomers are saying “not so fast.”

The signal, detected by Russian scientists in May 2015 but not shared with the international community until recently, emitted from the direction of a star known as HD 164595, known to have one Neptune-like planet.

On Aug. 28, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) began searching the area of space near HD 164595 for similar signals. So far, they have found nothing.

Astronomers say the signal is likely caused naturally, from a stellar flare, active galactic nucleus, or it may simply be radio interference from Earth.

For strong evidence of intelligence, researchers at SETI say they look for a persistent signal from the same area of space that does not correspond with known interference.