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Monitoring of the continuum of SETI candidates with RATAN-600
(SAO RAS official comment)

Russian version  

    On August 30, 2016 there appeared a number of reports in different mass media on possible detection of a radio signal at RATAN-600 associated with the activity of an extraterrestrial civilization; in this connection, we consider it necessary to make official comments.
    In the last few years, the astronomers of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University together with their colleagues from the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SAO RAS) have been conducting a survey of astronomical objects in the framework of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program. SETI is the common name for projects and activities for the scientific search for activity of extraterrestrial civilizations. The program is oriented towards searching for radiation of possible artificial origin. The studies are carried out with RATAN-600 using wide-range continuum radiometers in the frequency range of 1-22.7 GHz. Such observations at RATAN-600 are made possible owing to its large collecting area of thousands of square meters, and this high sensibility of the telescope allows us to search for extremely weak signals in the Universe, to which SETI objects also refer. The objects of research within this program are solar-like stars with planets and solar-like stars with possible non-detected planets.
    In the framework of this program, an interesting radio signal at a wavelength of 2.7 cm was detected in the direction of one of the objects (star system HD164595 in Hercules) in 2015. Subsequent processing and analysis of the signal revealed its most probable terrestrial origin.
    As for the other objects of the RATAN-600 survey, it is too early to claim about any reliable scientific results. Using the obtained measurements, we are only able to estimate the upper limit of the detection of the studied areas. It can be said with confidence that no sought-for signal has been detected yet.

Contacts - Yu.V. Sotnikova