A spike in radio signals coming from the direction of a sun-like star has excited astronomers.
The signals seem to be originating from a sun-like star known as HD 164595 in the constellation Hercules, around 95 light years away.
Scientists suggest they are likely to be the result of a natural phenomenon, such as ‘microlensing’, in which the star’s gravity strengthens and focus signals from elsewhere.
But astronomers have also asked Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) to take a closer look at whether they could be a message from ET.
SETI will track HD 164595 tonight using the Allen Telescope Array in northern California and the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory in Panama.
According to a report by Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams, the signal was first detected on May 15 last year by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya.
HD 164595 is interesting to scientists because it’s a sun-like star with at least one ‘warm Neptune’ planet in orbit.
Its average temperature is 12 Kelvin hotter than the sun and is around 100 million years younger than our star.
Scientists say there may still be other planets undetected around HD 164595.
‘No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilisation, but it is certainly worth further study,’ writes Gilster.