Yes ladies and gentlemen, it appears the ancient question “are we alone?” has finally been answered, and it looks like the answer is a resounding “no!”

 

Earlier last week, the Arecibo Observatory (a radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico) picked up some anomalous readings in the constellation Libra. Upon closer examination, the Arecibo team reported the signal was originating from approximately 9 astronomical units away. Within a few hours, the Very Large Array in New Mexico, USA, and the Allen Telescope Array in California, USA, helped to confirm the signal. Over the next 24 hours, telescopes from all over the world had confirmed the signal’s origin.

 

Dr. Ellen Strominger, one of the scientists from the Arecibo Observatory, said: “The signal is unlike anything we’ve seen before. It’s much stronger and is better organized than the regular background noise, both of interstellar and terrestrial origin, we hear. It’s even more organized than pulsars. It’s just very exciting.”

 

Since the signal originated near the vicinity of Saturn, NASA worked quickly to reorient the Cassini spacecraft, which was fortunate enough to snap a picture of the object (seen on the right).

 

Further observations showed the object traveling about 6-billion kilometers per hour (over 3.7 million mph) – averaging about 1 AU a day. Scientists studying the object have taken to calling it “T’Plana-Hath”, after the Vulcan ship responsible for making first contact with humans in the Star Trek  universe.

 

On Sunday, at 5:33am UTC, the object stopped just within the orbit of the moon. Currently, other than the noise originally heard emanating from the object, no new developments have occurred. Thus far, it doesn’t appear to have attempted direct communication with the Earth.

 

Some of the latest pictures of the object can be seen below.

 

Needless to say, we will keep you apprised as we watch this monumental event unfold.

 

 

Update: Happy Halloween! This article was brought to you in the spirit of the holiday by From Quarks to Quasars. I hope you had as much fun reading this hypothetical scenario as I did writing it.


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