A scientist became "concerned" when she thought signals being sent to earth from space were being sent by "aliens".
Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker was leading a team of researchers in Australia who found an 'impossible' spinning object in space that sent radio signals to Earth every 18 minutes
"I was concerned that it was aliens," said Dr Hurley-Walker of the object 4,000 lightyears away from earth, as reported by News Science and Nature.
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She said she "broke out in a cold sweat" and asked herself if this was "the moment we finally found that the truth is… out there?"
The team from Curtin University, International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), in Perth, Australia, were mapping radio waves in the universe when the made the discovery.
She said she initially thought the findings, made by student Tyrone O'Doherty, were just "interference".
But in "an observation taken 18 minutes later, there the source was again, in exactly the same place and at exactly the same frequency – like nothing astronomers had ever seen before."
She added: "At this point I broke out in a cold sweat. There is a worldwide research effort searching for repeating cosmic radio signals transmitted at a single frequency.
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"It's called the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Was this the moment we finally found that the truth is … out there?"
She said: "This object was appearing and disappearing over a few hours during our observations.
"That was completely unexpected. It was kind of spooky for an astronomer because there's nothing known in the sky that does that.
"And it's really quite close to us — about 4,000 light years away. It's in our galactic backyard."
She realised then that she had "detected the source across a wide range of frequencies, so the power it would take to generate it could only come from a natural source; not artificial (and not aliens)!"
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