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article imageDid an astronomer receive an alien signal from Gliese 581g?

By Andrew Moran     Oct 11, 2010 in Science
Sydney - A couple of weeks after NASA announced that it discovered Gliese 581g, a habitable planet surrounding a star, an astronomer claimed he detected a pulse of light two years ago from the same location.
Last month, Digital Journal reported on the discovery of planet Gliese 581g that is four times the size of Earth and is rocky and able to have an atmosphere. The planet is about 20 light-years away and orbits a red dwarf star.
A couple of days later, astronomer Ragbir Bhathal of the University of Western Sydney claimed he received a strange pulse of light about two years ago that came from the same area of the galaxy where Gliese 581g is located.
The orbits of planets in the Gliese 581 system are compared to those of our own solar system. The Gl...
The orbits of planets in the Gliese 581 system are compared to those of our own solar system. The Gliese 581 star has about 30 percent the mass of our Sun, and the outermost planet is closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun. The 4th planet, G, is a planet that could sustain life.
Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation
“Whenever there's a clear night, I go up to the observatory and do a run on some of the celestial objects,” said Bhathal, a member of the Australian section of SETI, in an interview with the Daily Mail. “Looking at one of these objects, we found this signal. We found this very sharp signal, sort of a laser lookalike thing which is the sort of thing we're looking for – a very sharp spike. And that is what we found."
However, according to Space, many scientists are quite “suspicious” over Bhathal’s claims.
American astronomer and astrophysicist, Frank Drake, stated that when he asked Bhathal for details such as the location of the source of light, he wouldn’t send him anything: “I’m very suspicious.”
Furthermore, the SETI pioneer who famed the Drake Equation added: “I think it's very unlikely that it came from the direction of Gliese 581."
In order to confirm Bhathal’s assertion, further study must be conducted; however, Drake is doubtful that Bhathal’s claim is genuine.
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