A Canadian physics professor claims that he has uncovered evidence of communication from 234 extraterrestrial civilizations, in the form of signals that are encoded in the emanations of stars much like our own Sun.

In analyzing the composition of the light spectra of 2.5 million stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, optical physics professor Ermanno Borra, of Université Laval in Quebec, found patterns in the form of 1.65 picoseconds pulses (just a little more than a trillionth of a second) that existed in the light of 234 Sun-like stars. Borra posits that only extremely powerful lasers can produce such a rapid pattern, meaning that the signals must be artificial in origin.

"We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis," Borra explains in his team’s paper, submitted to the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. "The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the Sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis."

Borra and his team admit that their results need to be verified by independent parties, but they claim to have eliminated the possibility of various factors such as instrument and computational error, and potentially natural sources.

The Stephen Hawking-founded Breakthrough Listen project issued a statement saying that the "one in 10,000 objects with unusual spectra seen by Borra and Trottier are certainly worthy of additional study. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It is too early to unequivocally attribute these purported signals to the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations."

"We have to follow a scientific approach, not an emotional one," says Borra. But he admits that "intuitively — my emotion speaks now — I strongly suspect that it’s an ETI signal." 

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