Star With ‘Strong Signal’ Draws Alien Speculation

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(Photo: Deviant Art / SPAR)

A mere 94 light years away, a sun-like star emits a "strong signal" that could very well be artificial in origin – in other words, aliens.

The signal emanating from radio star HD 164595 could point to an alien civilization, and while experts caution against getting our hopes up, astronomers are going to check it out anyway. But if this star were indeed host to alien life forms, they would be far more advanced than us Earthlings.

"The signal from HD 16495 is intriguing, because it comes from the vicinity of a sun-like star, and if it's artificial, its strength is great enough that it was clearly made by a civilization with capabilities beyond those of humankind," said astronomer Douglas Vakoch, president of METI International.

But what would "capabilities beyond those of humankind" look like? The Kardashev scale is a metric used to measure how advanced a given civilization is. Type I civilizations have the ability to harness all the available energy from their own planet, Type II civilizations can summon all the energy contained in their star, and Type III civilizations can tap into the virtually limitless power from their entire galaxy – so they're basically Galactus. Earth sits somewhere around .74 on the Kardashev scale, but the proposed alien life forms would almost certainly be Type II or beyond.

Yes, it's a long shot that aliens are lurking near HD 16495, but it's not entirely out of the question. Remember KIC 8462, the dimming star over 1,000 light years away that some scientists thought was being used to power a Dyson sphere? While that may have failed to be a "Wow!" moment, we'll keep our fingers crossed that HD 16495 could lead to an opportunity for first contact.

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[H/T CNN]