October 2, 2010 – Dr. Ragbir Bhathal, a Scientist at the University of Western Sydney, picked up a signal in December 2008, long before it had been announced that the star Gliese 581 has habitable planets in orbit around it.
Dr. Bhathal is also a member of the Australian chapter of SETI. the organisation that looks for communication from distant planets.
During one of his investigations, he discovered a ‘suspicious’ signal from an area of the galaxy that holds the newly-discovered Gliese 581g, which also bears a remarkable coincidence to the recent announcement from scientists that Gliese g, is the most Earth-like planet ever to of been found.
When asked about his discovery Dr. Bhathal admitted that he had been really excited about what he believed he had come across, ” Whenever there’s a clear night. I go up to the observatory and do a run on some of the celestial objects. Looking at one of these objects, we found a signal, and you know I got really excited with it. So next I had to analyse it. We have special software to analyse these signals, and we found this very sharp signal. sort of a laser lookalike thing which is the sort of thing that we are looking for, a very sharp spike.”
Months have passed since Dr. Bhathal’s discovery and although he has scanned the skies for another signal, nothing has been detected, however the significance of the new discovery of Gliese 581g, has reknewed his excitement, and has caught the public imagination and awareness:
” Is there anyone out there?”