The killjoys at the SETI Institute – killjoys all over the world, really – are damping down wild speculation that a Russian instrument has seen a “Possible” alien transmission.
Hence even though a signal in the 2.7 cm wavelength was spotted for four seconds on May 15, 2015, the SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak only goes as far as to say the signal is “Interesting”.
The SETI Institute has pointed the Allen Telescope Array in the direction of HD164595, but it needs several observations to cover all the frequencies received by the very broadband RATAN-600.
Shostak adds “The discoverers didn’t alert the SETI community to this find until now, which is not as expected. According to both practice and protocol, if a signal seems to be of deliberate and extraterrestrial origin, one of the first things to do is to get others to attempt confirming observations. That was not done in this case.”
“It’s not uncommon in astronomy to see a signal we don’t understand, but so far, after lots of data gathering, everything has turned out to be some cool new astrophysical process,” she wrote.
This blip doesn’t look like a particularly compelling candidate for a SETI signal, being such an isolated unconfirmed event, so it’s kind of odd that it’s getting so much media attention.
The Register would add that it’d be just as good, or better, if the HD164595 signal – if it exists – turned out to be a “cool new process”.