Astronomers believe strange new signals coming from space are probably aliens

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A team of scientists have revealed new research that seems to indicate intelligent aliens beyond planet Earth exist and are trying to communicate with others.

A paper titled "Discovery of peculiar periodic spectral modulations in a small fraction of solar type stars" doesn't necessarily sound like a stunning discovery to most people, but the research paper published in the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific may turn out to be the first step in the quest to establish the presence of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

Related: Depictions of UFOs and alien activity

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Depictions of UFOs and alien activity
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Depictions of UFOs and alien activity
In this combo photo, the head of New Zealandâs Mount John Observatory said on Jan. 2, 1979, that the unidentified flying objects filmed by Australian TV men were almost certainly the Planet Venus. Photo at left is from the TV film made over the weekend off the coast of New Zealand. Photo at right is of the Planet Venus made in 1974 by the Mariner space probe. New Zealand astronomer David Mabin said Venus is currently at its brightest and can be seen for about 12 hours a day. Another expert said the radar echoes reported were probably âRadar Angelsâ which are common in the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year. (AP Photo)
Unidentified Flying Object sighted over New Zealand's South Island on Jan. 3, 1979. New Zealand television crew cameraman Frank Kazukaitis said of the sighting, âIt looked like an illuminated ping pong ball with a tinge of red in the middle. (AP Photo/Dominion)
Picture taken by amateur astronomer Walter Schwarz on April 28, 1983 in Nuremberg, Germany shows a first unidentified flying object that hovered above the city for a few days and was later identified as a helium filled stratosphere balloon "Moby Dick" launched by the French space agency CNES. (AP Photo/Walter Schwarz)
This photograph was taken by a tourist and shows an Unidentified Flying Object, flying over Romanian territory near Cluj town Sept. 24. 1968. (AP Photo)
Michael Savage, 15-year-old son of prominent San Bernardino physician and surgeon, was practicing picture-taking with his new camera, when he saw motion out of the corner of his eye Thursday, July 24, 1956, San Bernardino, CA. He quickly shot this picture, tried to shoot another and in his haste, over-cranked the camera, drawing a blank with his second shot. The object disappeared in 30 seconds, he said, not over the horizon but quickly out of sight in the sky. (AP Photo/Michael Savage)
Texas farmer Carrell Wayne Watts told a polygraph operator this Polaroid snap shows an alien spacecraft 80 to 100 feet long, Sunday, Feb. 25, 1968, Amarillo, Tx. The Houston Post will release results of 29-year-old Watts lie test late Sunday night. (AP Photo/Carrell Wayne Watts)
This photograph, reproduced from the quarterly UFO periodical Flying Saucers International in Los Angeles, shows silvery white flying objects as seen by photographer Erich Kaiser while descending from Reichenstein mountain in Austria on Aug. 3, 1954. (AP Photo)
This photo is from the Air Force's "The Roswell Report," released Tuesday, June 24, 1997, which discusses the UFO incident in Roswell, N.M. in 1947. On balloon flights, test dummies were used and placed in insulation bags to protect temperature sensitive equipment. These bags may have been described by at least one witness as "body bags" used to recover alien victims from the crash of a flying saucer. The 231-page report, released on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Roswell, N.M., UFO incident, is meant to close to book on longstanding rumors that the Air Force recovered a flying saucer and extraterrestrial bodies near Roswell. (AP Photo/Air Force, File)
A sign directs travelers to the start of the "1947 UFO Crash Site Tours" in Roswell, N.M., Tuesday, June 10, 1997. In Roswell, locals don't argue anymore about whether a space ship crashed nearby. They argue about whose ranch it landed on. (AP Photo/Eric Draper)
Children eye a model of an alien on display inside the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, N.M., Monday, June 9, 1997. The museum, which is free to the public, receives visitors from all over the world. (AP Photo Eric Draper)
A bicycle-powered flying saucer sputters by the crowd gathered on Main Street Saturday, July 5, 1997, in Roswell, N.M. About two dozen crafts moved down the street in the Crash and Burn Extravaganza as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of an alleged UFO crash near Roswell. (AP Photo/Susan Sterner)
UFOetry performs at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center in Roswell, New Mexico Thursday morning, July 3, 2008, helping kick off the 2008 UFO Festival. (AP Photo/Roswell Daily Record, Mark Wilson)
Workers with the Nevada Department of Transportation sign shop start to install one of the first "Extraterrestrial Highway" signs along state route 375 in Rachel, Nev., Thursday, April 18, 1996, after the official dedication ceremonies by Nevada officials. The E.T. Highway stretches for 98 miles in Lincoln and Nye counties, connecting U.S. Highways 93 and 6. The move is an effort by the Nevada Commission on Tourism to draw tourists to an area known for tales of frequent UFO sightings. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Police Officer Jeff Greenhaw took these pictures of a strange looking creature he said he found standing in the middle of a major highway which runs thru his town, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 1973, Huntsville, Al. (AP Photo/Jeff Greenhaw)
UFO sighted by a New Mexico State University student, West of Picacho Peak, Las Cruces, New Mexico, March 12, 1967. About 2:00pm the student was hiking in a desert area near Picacho Peak, New Mexico, when he spotted a big round silvery object hovering in the air just above a rocky hill about 500 yards away. He prepared his 4" X 5" Press Camera, set it at F8 and 1/100 shutter speed, and snapped one good black and white picture of the object. (AP Photo)
Described as a leisure home of the 1970s, this flying saucer-shaped house - called the 'Futuro' - is made up of 16 pre-moulded segments of fibreglass. Designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, it is being made under license from Oy Polykem of Helsinki by a Lancashire firm (Waterside Plastics Ltd, of Todmorden) and is described as the leisure home of today and tomorrow.
Pat Slimmer climbs into his street-legal UFO at the start of the Art Tougeau parade in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, May 30, 2015. This year's parade is paired with the Lawrence Busker Festival so Lawrence (Kan.) mayor Jeremy Farmer proclaimed May 29-31 a "The Official Weird Weekend." (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Mary Burden and Sue Williams, right, slip into their alien outfits Wednesday, July 2, 1997, in Roswell, N.M. Burden and Williams plan to join other Roswell residents and tourists Thursday evening in an alien costume contest as part of the 50th anniversary of the Roswell incident. (AP Photo/Susan Sterner)
UFO-like model is carried by people as an eye-catcher reflecting a science fiction boom during mass rally celebrating Japan's May Day in rainy in Tokyo on Monday, May 1, 1978. About 4.5 million people rallied to celebrate May Day in Japan, many calling on the government to give more relief for the jobless and more employment security. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
World reception center for official visitors from outer space was proposed by an American specialist on unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Hungarian-born Colman von Keviczky, a former United Nations official, right, and Karl L. Viet, the president of the German branch of the UFO study society, are at a news conference on the international conference of UFO-students, Oct. 31, 1967 in Mainz, Germany. At foreground is a model of a UFO which doubles as bedside lamp. (AP Photo/Kurt Strumpf)
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An analysis of 2.5 million stars that researchers have been watching has revealed 234 stars giving off "strange modulations" that suggest their origins are likely caused by an alien species, rather than natural causes.

"We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an [extraterrestrial intelligence] signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis," two researchers wrote in the new paper, according to The Independent.

"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," they add, referring to an "ETI" or "Extra Terrestrial Intelligent" hypothesis.

Astronomers from a university in Quebec used a mathematical tool that hasn't really been studied in depth yet to analyze super quick light pulses of about less than a trillionth of a second to reach their conclusion.

The scientists explored a series of other potential causes for the modulations, including instrument effects, rotation of molecules, rapid stellar pulsations and chemistry.

While they clearly state the evidence is insufficient to suggest definitive proof of intelligent life, it is currently the best explanation.

Breakthrough Listen, a project backed by Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg, will begin investigating the 234 star signals as well to see what can be determined.

Stephen Hawking through the years

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Stephen Hawking through the years
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Stephen Hawking through the years
PRINCETON, NJ - OCTOBER 10: Cosmologist Stephen Hawking on October 10, 1979 in Princeton, New Jersey. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty Images)
Stephen Hawking (born in 1942), British mathematician and scientist, 1989. (Photo by Jean-Regis Rouston/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)
Professor Stephen Hawking poses for a photograph in his office at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, U.K, in April 1991. Hawking has written countless scientific papers as well as books, receiving 12 honorary degrees and becoming Cambridge's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a post held by Sir Isaac Newton over 300 years earlier. (Photo by Bryn Colton/Getty Images)
SF.Hawking.1.bv.2Â5/PASADENA ÂÂ Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in his Cal Tech office. (Photo by Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) - COL*08.01.1942-Physiker, Mathematiker, Grossbritannien- Porträt (Photo by LS-PRESS/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
LONDON - DECEMBER 16: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Scientist Stephen Hawking and wife Elaine Mason arrive at the European Premiere of 'Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events' at the Empire Leicester Square on December 16, 2004 in London. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
OVIEDO, SPAIN: British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking gives his conference to open the XXV Prince of Asturias Awards Anniversary event in Oviedo, Northern Spain, 12April 2005. Stephen Hawking won the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in 1989. AFP PHOTO / Miguel RIOPA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19: Professor Stephen Hawking (L) and his wife Elaine Mason attend the international bookfair on October 19, 2005 in Frankfurt, Germany. South Korea is the guest of honour at the 57th annual Frankfurt Book Fair where 270.000 people are expected to visit the world's most important book fair, and 7000 exhibitors from 100 countries are present. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT/MAIN, Germany: British physicist Stephen Hawking visits his German publisher Rowohlt's stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair 19 October 2005. The Frankfurt book fair opened its doors for the 57th time with the focus on authors from the Korean peninsula, but the presence of some 60 writers from the South and none from the North spoke as much of politics as literature. AFP PHOTO DDP/THOMAS LOHNES GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read THOMAS LOHNES/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JUNE 18: (CHINA OUT) Cosmologist Stephen Hawking visits the Temple of Heaven on June 18, 2006, in Beijing, China. Hawking has arrived in Beijing prior to his lecture at the Great Hall of the People today where he will discuss the origins of the universe at the Strings 2006 International Conference, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Theoretical Physics. The conference runs from June 19 ?24 at the Beijing Friendship Hotel. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
BEIJING - JUNE 19: (CHINA OUT) British scientist Stephen Hawking, delivers a lecture entitled 'The Origin of the Universe' at the Great Hall of the People June 19, 2006 in Beijing, China. British scientist Stephen Hawking is also visiting Beijing to attend the conference on the riddle of string theory which, if solved, could help unlock the mysteries of black holes and the creation of the universe, according to reports. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
BEIJING - JUNE 21: British scientist Stephen Hawking attends a conference during the 2006 International Conference on String Theory on June 21, 2006 in Beijing, China. Hawking is visiting Beijing to attend the conference on the riddle of string theory which, if solved, could help unlock the mysteries of black holes and the creation of the universe, according to reports. (Photo by Cancan Chu/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, -: British scientist Stephen Hawking is helped to turn his head as he arrives 10 December 2006 at the Israeli premier's offices to meet with Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. Hawking is in Jerusalem for a lecture at the Bloomfield Museum of Science. AFP PHOTO/Yoav LEMMER (Photo credit should read YOAV LEMMER/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - JANUARY 17: Professor Stephen Hawking delivers his speech at the release of the 'Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' on January 17, 2007 in London, Ebgland. A group of scientists assessing the dangers posed to civilisation have moved the Doomsday Clock forward two minutes closer to midnight as an indication and warning of the threats of nuclear war and climate change. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, UNITED STATES: British cosmologist Stephen Hawking(L) has his communication device adjusted by an aide at a pre-flight press conference 26 April 2007 at Kennedy Space Center, FLorida. Hawking, who has spent his career pondering the nature of gravity from a wheelchair, is set to experience weightlessness during a 'vomit comet' flight in Florida Thursday. The idea is to give 'the world's expert on gravity the opportunity to experience zero gravity' said Peter Diamandis the chief executive of the Zero Gravity Corporation. Hawking, 65, the British author of the blockbuster 'A Brief History of Time,' will be surrounded by a medical team on the padded plane as it flies a roller-coaster trajectory to produce periods of weightlessness. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, UNITED STATES: British cosmologist Stephen Hawking passes well wishers before boarding a plane 26 April 2007 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Hawking, who has spent his career pondering the nature of gravity from a wheelchair, is set to experience weightlessness during a 'vomit comet' flight in Florida Thursday. The idea is to give 'the world's expert on gravity the opportunity to experience zero gravity' said Peter Diamandis the chief executive of the Zero Gravity Corporation. Hawking, 65, the British author of the blockbuster 'A Brief History of Time,' will be surrounded by a medical team on the padded plane as it flies a roller-coaster trajectory to produce periods of weightlessness. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Professor Stephen Hawking gives a lecture entitled 'Why We Should Go Into Space' during the 50 Years of NASA lecture series at George Washington University in Washington, DC, April 21, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
South Africa former President Nelson Mandela (R) meets with British scientist Professor Stephen Hawking (L) in Johannesburg on May 15, 2008. Hawking, who has devoted his career to finding the origins of the universe, is in the country to begin a search for Africa?s answer to Einstein. Some of the world?s leading high-tech entrepreneurs and scientists have backed a ?75m plan to create Africa?s first postgraduate centres for advanced math and physics, after the British government declined to provide funding. AFP Photo/Denis Farrell / POOL (Photo credit should read DENIS FARRELL/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) British scientist Stephen Hawking attends the 2008 Cambridge Honnorary Degrees 2008's procession on June 23, 2008 at Cambridge University in east England. Renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has bet 100 dollars (70 euros) that a mega-experiment this week will not find an elusive particle seen as a holy grail of cosmic science, he said Tuesday September 9, 2008. In the most complex scientific experiment ever undertaken, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be switched on Wednesday, accelerating sub-atomic particles to nearly the speed of light before smashing them together. AFP PHOTO/SHAUN CURRY/FILES (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - AUGUST 12: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the Medal of Freedom to physicist Stephen Hawking during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House August 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, to 16 recipients during the ceremony. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House on August 12, 2009. Obama awarded 16 individuals the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 14: Scientist Stephen Hawking of 'Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking' speaks via satellite during the Science Channel portion of the 2010 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 02: Physicist Stephen Hawking onstage during the 2010 World Science Festival Opening Night Gala at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Physicist Stephen Hawking attends the 2010 World Science Festival Opening Night Gala at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2010 in New York City.
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 9: 'The Hawking Excitation' -- When Wolowitz gets to work with Stephen Hawking (left), Sheldon (Jim Parsons, right) is willing to do anything to meet his hero, on THE BIG BANG THEORY, Thursday, April 5 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Professor Stephen Hawking speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking poses for a picture ahead of a gala screening of the documentary 'Hawking', a film about the scientist's life, at the opening night of the Cambridge Film Festival in Cambridge, eastern England on September 19, 2013. Hawking tells the extraordinary tale of how he overcame severe disability to become the most famous living scientist in a new documentary film premiered in Britain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)
British actor Eddie Redmayne (R) pose with British scientist Stephen Hawking (L) at the UK premiere of the film 'The Theory of Everything' in London on December 9, 2014. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and stars Eddie Redmayne protraying the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Professor Stephen Hawking attends the UK Premiere of 'The Theory Of Everything' at Odeon Leicester Square on December 9, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking attend the EE British Academy Film Awards at The Royal Opera House on February 8, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: The world's best know scientist Professor Stephen Hawking takes VisitLondon.com's Official Guest of Honour Adaeze Uyanwah on a personal guided tour of his favourite places in the city's famous Science Museum on February 18, 2015 in London, England. On the tour Professor Hawking said he was pleased to lend his synthesised 'voice' to actor Eddie Redmayne for his Oscar-nominated performance in The Theory of Everything but added ' unfortunatley Eddie did not inherit my good looks.' (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for London & Partners)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: (SUN NEWSPAPER OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE J. HOGAN GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Stephen Hawking attends 'Interstellar Live' at Royal Albert Hall on March 30, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
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"The one in 10,000 objects with unusual spectra seen by [the scientists] are certainly worthy of additional study. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," the group said in a statement. "It is too early to unequivocally attribute these purported signals to the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations."

"Internationally agreed-upon protocols for searches for evidence of advanced life beyond Earth (SETI) require candidates to be confirmed by independent groups using their own telescopes, and for all natural explanations to be exhausted before invoking extraterrestrial agents as an explanation," the statement continued. "Careful work must be undertaken to determine false positive rates, to rule out natural and instrumental explanations, and most importantly, to confirm detections using two or more independent telescopes.

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