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Coronavirus UK: Death toll tops 50,000 with 595 new victims

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Coronavirus

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll passed the grim milestone of 50,000 today after health chiefs announced another 595 coronavirus victims in the highest daily count since May.

Boris Johnson said the figures were a stark reminder that the UK ‘was not out of the woods yet’ despite promising news about a vaccine earlier this week. Officials say Covid fatalities will continue to rise for ‘several weeks’ due to high infection rates through October. 

It takes about three weeks for infected patients to become severely ill and eventually succumb to the virus. The PM labeled every death a tragedy, saying ‘we mourn everybody’s who’s gone’.

But despite the gloomy warnings of thousands more deaths, the silver lining is that daily cases are down week on week. A total of 22,950 new infections were recorded today — which is 8.8 per cent lower than the 25,177 that were registered last Wednesday.

The figures come after a catalog of data has suggested that lockdown may have been a rash move and that the country’s outbreak appeared to be slowing down already thanks to the three-tier local lockdown system imposed in mid-October. 

Department of Health figures show the UK’s official death toll now stands at 50,365, with today’s figure the highest recorded in a single day since May 12 – when there were 614 fatalities.

It comes after the Prime Minister today warned that a vaccine will not deliver a ‘knockout blow’ to coronavirus as Tories insisted he must not use the prospect of jabs to keep the country in lockdown longer.

At a bad-tempered PMQs session, Mr Johnson welcomed the news Pfizer’s vaccine had been 90 per cent effective in early trials. But he gave a stern message to the public that they should not expect an early end to the blanket restrictions, despite claims it could start being rolled out by Christmas.

Britain is getting ready to launch the biggest immunisation drive in its history, with the NHS and Army on standby to start deploying millions of doses of any approved coronavirus vaccine by December 1.

On another high-octane day of developments in the coronavirus crisis:

  • England’s deputy chief medical officer has said he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ to take Pfizer’s breakthrough coronavirus vaccine if he were eligible in a bid to reassure Brits about its safety;
  • Economists have raised hopes the UK’s economy could return to pre-pandemic levels within six months after the bombshell news about a vaccine;
  • University students will be offered Covid tests after lockdown ends on December 2 before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan;
  • Government spending on anti-coronavirus measures has surpassed an eye-watering third of a trillion pounds since the pandemic began, according to analysis by MailOnline.
Boris Johnson labelled every death a tragedy, saying 'we mourn everybody¿s who¿s gone'. And he warned the UK was 'not out of the woods yet'

Boris Johnson labelled every death a tragedy, saying ‘we mourn everybody’s who’s gone’. And he warned the UK was ‘not out of the woods yet’

Boris Johnson loads a delivery van with a basket of shopping during a visit to a Tesco.com distribution centre in London,

Boris Johnson loads a delivery van with a basket of shopping during a visit to a Tesco.com distribution centre in London,

BORIS JOHNSON WARNS PFIZER JAB WON’T DELIVER KNOCK-OUT BLOW NEEDED TO END LOCKDOWN 

At PMQs today Boris Johnson gave a stern message to the public that they should not be expecting an early end to coronavirus restrictions, despite claims a vaccine could start being rolled out by Christmas

At PMQs today Boris Johnson gave a stern message to the public that they should not be expecting an early end to coronavirus restrictions, despite claims a vaccine could start being rolled out by Christmas

Boris Johnson today warned that a vaccine will not deliver a ‘knockout blow’ to coronavirus as Tories insisted he must not use the prospect of jabs to keep the country in lockdown longer.

At a bad-tempered PMQs session, Mr Johnson again welcomed the news that Pfizer’s vaccine had been 90 per cent effective in early trials.

But he gave a stern message to the public that they should not be expecting an early end to restrictions, despite claims it could start being rolled out by Christmas.

He said the ‘best way to get this country back on its feet’ was to ‘continue on the path that we are, driving the virus down’.

The premier said science had given the country ‘two big boxing gloves’ via a possible vaccine and mass testing, but added: ‘Neither of them is capable of delivering a knock out blow on its own.

‘That’s why this country needs to continue to work hard to keep discipline and to observe the measures we’ve put in.’

Responding to news that the UK’s Covid-19 death toll had topped 50,000, Mr Johnson said: ‘Every death is a tragedy and we mourn everybody’s who’s gone. And our feelings are with their families and friends as well.

‘It is a global pandemic whose effects, whose treatments, whose implications for the economy – you know all those have been becoming clearer and clearer as the months have gone on.

‘I do think we’ve got now to a different phase, in the way that we treat it and after these autumn measures – which I hope people will stick to really, really rigidly as far as they possibly can – we’re very much hoping two things will start to come to our aid.

‘Number one the mass testing and the other thing is now the realistic prospect of a vaccine, so you have two boxing gloves to pummel the disease in the weeks and months that follow.’

Speaking during a visit to a Tesco distribution centre in Erith, south-east London, he added: ‘But I’ve got to stress that we’re not out of the woods yet, it does still require everybody to follow the guidance, to suppress the disease in the way that we all understand.’

Discussing the death figures, Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said: ‘Sadly the upward trend is likely to continue and it will be several weeks before any impact of the current measures – and the sacrifices we are all making – is seen and is reflected in the data.

‘By limiting contact with others, you are helping to stop the spread of the virus. This will lead to fewer infections and help to save lives. Together we can bring the virus under control.’

It comes as the Prime Minister today said the ‘best way to get this country back on its feet’ was to ‘continue on the path that we are, driving the virus down’.

He said science had given the country ‘two big boxing gloves’ via a possible vaccine and mass testing, but added: ‘Neither of them is capable of delivering a knock out blow on its own. That’s why this country needs to continue to work hard to keep discipline and to observe the measures we’ve put in.’

The pointed comments came amid signs whole regions of England could be kept under brutal restrictions after the blanket lockdown ends on December 2.

The country is due to return to the ‘Tiered’ system next month, with variations depending on the level of outbreaks locally.

But ministers are considering ‘simplifying’ the arrangement so wider areas are covered by the same curbs. That means rather than individual ‘hotspot’ cities or towns being placed in a Tier, entire regions will face the same treatment.

There is also the prospect of a fourth Tier being added, which would be essentially the same as the full lockdown imposed currently. 

The Y-axis shows the three phases of the Government's plans to distribute the vaccine, with age being one of the driving factors behind who gets priority. The X-axis is the number of Britons that could be immunised by next summer

The Y-axis shows the three phases of the Government’s plans to distribute the vaccine, with age being one of the driving factors behind who gets priority. The X-axis is the number of Britons that could be immunised by next summer

ENGLAND’S DEPUTY CMO CLAIMS HE WOULD BE AT THE FRONT OF THE QUEUE TO TAKE Coronavirus VACCINE IF HE COULD

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said he would be 'at the front of the queue' if it was up to him to take a coronavirus vaccine

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ if it was up to him to take a coronavirus vaccine

England’s deputy chief medical officer today claimed he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ to take Pfizer’s breakthrough coronavirus vaccine if he were eligible in a bid to reassure Brits about its safety.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam held a press conference today outlining the steps that have to be taken before the jab is dished out en masse around the country. But when pressed, he could not guarantee the vaccine would get Britain back to normal by Easter because of the colossal logistical challenge ahead.

Full data on Pfizer’s vaccine will be published this month and it’ll need to get the green light from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it is deemed safe enough to administer to millions of Brits.

This process is expected to be wrapped up within weeks and the NHS is on standby to start deploying the shot by December 1. The vaccine needs to be stored at -70C and can spoil easy with even slight changes in temperature, which makes transporting and storing the vaccine a logistical headache.

To demonstrate his full confidence in the vaccine, the deputy CMO said he had also encouraged his 78-year-old mother to be ready to take the jab as soon as she’s offered it. It came after a Daily Mail poll today suggested four in 10 Brits want politicians and Government advisers to take the vaccine first to prove it’s safe.

Under the Government’s vaccine distribution plans, Professor Van-Tam’s mother would fall under into third priority group, with care home residents and staff first in line, followed by over-80s and frontline NHS workers. At 56 years old, Professor Van-Tam himself would not be eligible to receive the vaccine until sometime next year after.

But the move will fuel alarm that the constantly shifting rules are confusing the public and undermining trust in the government’s response. 

And Boris Johnson is under fresh pressure from angry Tory MPs who are demanding that draconian restrictions are abandoned because they are destroying the economy, risking more deaths from poverty and other diseases that are going untreated.

At least 50 backbenchers have signed up to a new group headed by former chief whip Mark Harper, who has warned that Mr Johnson must not use the prospect of a vaccine arriving early next year to delay decisions on loosening lockdown.

Currently, Tier 1 restrictions are described as ‘medium risk’ with Tier 2 ‘high’ and Tier 3 ‘very high’.

Under Tier 3 rules restaurants can open, but only until 10pm and pubs and bars must close unless they also operate as a restaurant. 

This definition extends to pubs which sell ‘substantial’ meals, which like restaurants will be allowed to stay open but only serve alcohol to people eating a meal.

Locals are advised only to leave their areas for essential travel such as work, education or health, and must return before the end of the day.

Overnight stays by those from outside of these ‘high risk’ areas are also be banned. Households are not be allowed to mix either indoors or outdoors.

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has said that regions would not necessarily emerge from the current lockdown into the same tier they were in last month.

And one source told the Telegraph: ‘We will return to a regionalised approach after the lockdown, and the Government has not said explicitly at this point that the tiers will be exactly the same.

It comes after England’s deputy chief medical officer today claimed he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ to take Pfizer’s breakthrough coronavirus vaccine if he were eligible in a bid to reassure Brits about its safety.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam held a press conference today outlining the steps that have to be taken before the jab is dished out en masse around the country. 

But when pressed, he could not guarantee the vaccine would get Britain back to normal by Easter because of the colossal logistical challenge ahead.

Full data on Pfizer’s vaccine will be published this month and it’ll need to get the green light from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it is deemed safe enough to administer to millions of Brits.

This process is expected to be wrapped up within weeks and the NHS is on standby to start deploying the shot by December 1. 

The vaccine needs to be stored at -70C and can spoil easy with even slight changes in temperature, which makes transporting and storing the vaccine a logistical headache.

To demonstrate his full confidence in the vaccine, the deputy CMO said he had also encouraged his 78-year-old mother to be ready to take the jab as soon as she’s offered it. 

It came after a Daily Mail poll today suggested four in 10 Brits want politicians and Government advisers to take the vaccine first to prove it’s safe.

Under the Government’s vaccine distribution plans, Professor Van-Tam’s mother would fall under into third priority group, with care home residents and staff first in line, followed by over-80s and frontline NHS workers. 

At 56 years old, Professor Van-Tam himself would not be eligible to receive the vaccine until sometime next year after.

Britain is getting ready to launch the biggest immunisation drive in British history after preliminary data from Pfizer – the American drugs giant which makes Viagra – showed its vaccine was 90 per cent effective at blocking Covid-19. 

Hopes were raised further yesterday when prominent Government scientists claimed life would return to normal by Easter without the need for draconian lockdown rules.

Retired doctors and medical students will be drafted in to help dispense vaccines from a thousand GP surgeries around the country amid fears there are not enough staff to carry out the mammoth operation. 

The army will also be used to help transport the vaccines between labs and clinics.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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6 Reasons Why People Love Visiting Pink City

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pink city

Jaipur or pink city is a beautiful city that is infused with colorful colors, attractive arts, traditional sculptures & artefacts as well as glorious forts. The metropolis is quite popular among tourists and everyone should visit Jaipur once in a life. 

Pink city is well-known for offering numerous things to enjoy in the day as well as explore the night beauty. Several tours & travels company like India Incredible keep on organizing Jaipur tour by bus which helps you to explore all the famous places of this city.

The age-old structures and palaces in Jaipur are sure to leave you stunned with their attractiveness. If you love traveling and want to gain some experience in life through exploring different parts of the world then you should undeniably plan your trip to Jaipur. 

Here are 6 reasons why people from around the globe love visiting Jaipur:

Huge Stretches Of Deserts

In this historic city, you will find huge stretch lands of desserts that will surely make you fall in love with their beauty. When exploring the deserts, don’t forget to go for a camel ride. 

There are also several retreats here that are famous for treating all the travelers like royal Rajput and offer an insight into the Marwari culture. 

Beautiful Monuments 

The town has numerous beautiful forts and palaces that are constructed by the rulers. After exploring the forts and other historical monuments, you will be charmed by their architecture because they perfectly convey the stories of Maharajas. 

Also read: Gorgeous 12 year old girl with 50,000 Instagram followers

Trip To The Market 

The markets of the pink city offer a wide variety of things including lots of mirror work clothes, lac bangles, Resham embroidered tops, and salwar as well as precious stone jewelry that are sure to catch the attention of every woman. 

Johari Bazaar and Tripolia Bazaar are the two markets that you need to visit definitely. 

Amazing Cuisine

People love visiting Jaipur because of the food items like dal bati churma, gatte ki chutney, lassi, pyaaz ki kachori, ghevar, and roadside bhel puris are extremely delicious and beyond your expectations. 

The lip-smacking cuisine of this city is one of the biggest reasons for you to pack your bags and visit Jaipur.

Rajasthani Culture 

Remember that the dry deserts of Rajasthan are famed for their colorful puppet shows, folk music, dances as well as bandhej fabric work.

You should visit Jaipur to experience this wonderful culture to the fullest and also take back home some heritage pieces, heirlooms, and of course delightful memories. 

Festival Calendar

Every summer season, Jaipur explodes with red-capped turbans, tattooed brides, painted elephants as well as twirling beards for the celebration of Teej. It is the festival that is devoted to the Hindu goddess Parvati and her union with Shiva. 

In the month of March, a popular elephant festival is held which is considered as the topmost attraction of Jaipur.

During this festival, several events are conducted like the Kalbelia dance, the female peacock dance, and several other cultural events that are sure to leave you stunned. 

Therefore, these are 6 reasons why people love visiting the pink city. To visit Jaipur, you can get your bookings done today with India Incredible who also offers attractive Delhi sightseeing packages

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Fkfcu – Business meeting brings Fort Knox Federal Credit Union to Life

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Fkfcu

The Fkfcu (Fort Knox Federal Credit Union) is a financial cooperative association dedicated to enhancing the economic well being of residents located in all areas of the state of Tennessee. The organization works as a not-for-profit cooperative organization dedicated to improving the conditions of the local economy through consumer protection. The organization provides banking services such as loans, savings accounts, and electronic deposits. Fort Knox Federal Credit Union provides services to residential communities in the United States as well as international clients.

As far as community development is concerned, Fkfcu is the largest member-owned financial education and research institution in the state of Tennessee. It has branches in every major city of the state such as New York, Cincinnati, Memphis, New Orleans, and Toledo. The cooperative has also recently established credit unions in the state of Kentucky. Kentucky is one of the fastest growing states in the U.S.A, and Kentucky residents are already familiar with the cooperative.

Fkfcu

The Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is involved in providing numerous social service programs for the benefit of its Fort Knox residents and welcomes individuals from all communities. A large portion of the members’ time is spent on community health improvement projects. The health care services provided by the Fort Knox Federal Credit Union include immunization clinics, blood drives, and health fairs.

Community Economic Development (CED) program is one of the most crucial and successful of all the Community Economic Development (CED) programs in the country. The Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is one of the most important partners of CED. In the month of February, CED held its largest ever economic development expo.

There were over twenty-five thousand attendees who came to enjoy the benefits of economic development and networking. There was also a day of workshops where local business owners and community leaders could attend and share ideas on how best to utilize their business resources and increase the wealth of their communities.

This particular month, the Fort Knox Federal Credit Union has been sponsoring a “Town Square Business Meeting”. There have been many financial services related events in recent years in Fort Knox. These events have helped strengthen the community spirit and allowed businesses to expand their businesses. This meeting is an opportunity for the entire credit union to come together in a celebration of financial services and community development.

The speakers at this meeting will include leaders from the community, such as city councilors, Police officers, Firefighters, teachers, business owners, and CED coordinators. Also present will be some of the finest in business leadership; including world class executives, world-class businessmen, distinguished authors, and new business people.

The Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Fkfcu is also responsible for housing and managing the public housing projects in the area. The housing projects are managed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and they have recently announced a plan to change the name of the facility to “A Better Fort Knox”. This is part of the plan to rejuvenate and to attract new business and residents to the Fort Knox area.

The new name is a reflection of some of the challenges that are faced by the current residents of the area. One of the most common issues is that the number of people applying for government housing is much lower than the population of the town itself. This is causing issues with meeting the needs of the people with a limited amount of available funds.

This month’s Town Square Business Meeting will help to bring forth solutions for these issues. By identifying these challenges and coming up with solutions, the Fkfcu will be able to enhance the quality of life for its residents. This is a very positive step forward for the future of the Fort Knox community.

By creating economic opportunities, it is encouraging more people to come to this area and participate in the economic benefits that are offered by the various services being offered. A better understanding of these services and what they can do for you will give you a better perspective on this fantastic vacation locale.

With your savings account, you can also purchase real estate at a low price. In addition to real estate, you may be able to finance other projects such as a water park, apartment complex, or even a shopping center. As you can see, there are many options available to make money and grow your bank account.

FKFCU Login

Clients who have an existing record at the Fort Knox Federal Credit Union can sign in to see and deal with your finances. You can log in by means of the site of the FKFCU using any web or cell phone program. One can get the versatile use of the FKFCU for iPhone just as Android.

Logging into your Fort Knox Federal Credit Union record one can see their previous exchange history, sign up for refreshes, cause an installment, to select for extra financial items, update individual information, and considerably more. Burlington Credit Card Review and log in.

FKFCU Login Steps (Fort Knox Federal Credit Union)

  • Visit the FKFCU Organization Login page. (http://www.aboundcu.com)
  • You will currently find the ‘Log In’ button at the upper right corner of the screen. (you may allude to the picture underneath)
FKFCU Login
  • Snap on the catch and you will see an online banking login segment on the new page.
FKFCU Login guide
  • Enter your Username/Login ID in the individual clear space.
  • Type in your secret key underneath and click the ‘Log In’ button.

Failed to remember your Secret Password?

  • For secret word recuperation visit the login landing page of the credit union. (www.aboundcu.com)
  • Continue to the login area which is at the privilege of the screen.
  • Look underneath the login button for the ‘Failed to remember your Secret key?’ link.
  • Tap on it and the secret phrase reset page opens.
fkfcu branch home
  • Give your Login ID there and click the ‘Submit’ catch to reset your secret phrase.

Instructions to Enlist for Another Record

  • Contact the landing page of the FKFCU. (www.aboundcu.com)
  • There is an ‘Select’ link underneath the login segment.
  • Select it and another site page named computerized banking enrolment opens.
fkfcu hours
  • Give the following information in the particular spaces:
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Part number
  • Government backed retirement number
  • Postal division
  • Mentioned login id
  • Hit the ‘Continue’ to set up a record.

Method to Make Payment

Pay Online with Fkfcu

  • Visit the FKFCU site to pay online. (www.aboundcu.com/Borrow/Personal-Loans/Make-a-Payment)
  • Look down the installments page and select the ‘Pick your approach to pay’ heading.
  • Pick the login alternative under it to pay your advance online.
  • Presently you need to log into your record and take care of tabs after that.

Pay through Mail

In request to make an installment through mail you need to send your installment check to the following location:

  • Flourish Credit Union
  • P.O. Box 900
  • Radcliff, KY, 40159-0900

Pay through Mobilephone

Approach 1.800.285.5669 in request to make installment using a telephone.

In Branch Payment

Clients can visit a Fort Knox Federal Credit Union area to pay at a branch. You can open the branch finder page of the credit union to find a branch close to you.

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Application

In request to utilize your FKCU account by means of an Android or iOS application, you need to download it. Whenever you have downloaded the application you can sign in and begin with account the executives. Msum D2l Login Details.

  • Android Application
  • iOS Application

Flourish Credit Union Telephone Number

  • Call-1-800-285-5669
  • Routing Number-283978425

Last Words About FKCU

FKFCU or the Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is an American credit union that offers an expansive cluster of financial administrations. It is a non-benefit institution that works at 17 branch areas. At the FKFCU an individual can find Platinum credit cards, car advances, contract lending, and money back discounts. The credit union was originally settled at Fort Knox until it moved to Radcliff, Kentucky

Also read: Models Julia Rose and Lauren Summer banned for flashing

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Alien Hunters Discover Mysterious Signal from Proxima Centauri

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Proxima Centauri

It’s never aliens until it is. Today, news leaked in the British newspaper The Guardian of a mysterious signal coming from the closest star to our own, Proxima Centauri, a star too dim to see from Earth with the naked eye that is nevertheless a cosmic stone’s throw away at just 4.2 light-years. Found this autumn in archival data gathered last year, the signal appears to emanate from the direction of our neighboring star and cannot yet be dismissed as Earth-based interference, raising the very faint prospect that it is a transmission from some form of advanced extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI)—a so-called “technosignature.” Now, speaking to Scientific American, the scientists behind the discovery caution there is still much work to be done, but admit the interest is justified. “It has some particular properties that caused it to pass many of our checks, and we cannot yet explain it,” says Andrew Siemion from the University of California, Berkeley.

Most curiously, it occupies a very narrow band of the radio spectrum: 982 megahertz, specifically, which is a region typically bereft of transmissions from human-made satellites and spacecraft. “We don’t know of any natural way to compress electromagnetic energy into a single bin in frequency” such as this one, Siemion says. Perhaps, he says, some as-yet-unknown exotic quirk of plasma physics could be a natural explanation for the tantalizingly concentrated radio waves. But “for the moment, the only source that we know of is technological.”

The detection was made by a $100 million project called Breakthrough Listen, led by Siemion and funded by tech billionaire Yuri Milner under the umbrella of Milner’s Breakthrough Initiatives. The goal of this multiyear endeavor—which began in 2015 with a star-studded announcement attended by Stephen Hawking and other space-science luminaries—is to buy observing time on radio telescopes around the world to search the skies for evidence of technological civilizations. That pursuit, of course, is more commonly known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). To date, no such evidence has conclusively been found despite more than a half-century of modest but steady SETI activity, with any potential signals almost always ruled out as originating from satellites orbiting Earth or other human-caused interference.

“If you see such a signal and it’s not coming from the surface of Earth, you know you have detected extraterrestrial technology,” says Jason Wright, a SETI-centric astronomer at Penn State University in Pennsylvania. “Unfortunately, humans have launched a lot of extraterrestrial technology.”

http://www.technologychanging.com/technology/solar-installers-is-your-ticket-to-a-greener-future.html

The story of this latest SETI spectacle really began on April 29, 2019, when scientists affiliated with Breakthrough Listen started collecting the data that would later reveal the intriguing signal. A team had been using the Parkes radio telescope in Australia to study Proxima Centauri for signs of flares coming from the red dwarf star, in part to understand how such flares might affect Proxima’s planets. The system hosts at least two worlds.

The first, dubbed Proxima Centauri b upon its discovery in 2016, is about 1.2 times the size of Earth and in an 11-day orbit. Proxima b resides in the star’s “habitable zone,” a hazily defined sector in which liquid water could exist upon a rocky planet’s surface—provided, that is, Proxima Centauri’s intense stellar flares have not sputtered away a world’s atmosphere. Another planet, the roughly seven-Earth-mass Proxima c, was discovered in 2019 in a frigid 5.2-year orbit.

Using Parkes, the astronomers had observed the star for 26 hours as part of their stellar-flare study, but, as is routine within the Breakthrough Listen project, they also flagged the resulting data for a later look to seek out any candidate SETI signals.

The task fell to a young intern in Siemion’s SETI program at Berkeley, Shane Smith, who is also an undergraduate student at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Smith began sifting through the data in June of this year, but it was not until late October that he stumbled upon the curious narrowband emission, needle-sharp at 982.002 megahertz, hidden in plain view in the Proxima Centauri observations. From there, things happened fast—with good reason.

“It’s the most exciting signal that we’ve found in the Breakthrough Listen project because we haven’t had a signal jump through this many of our filters before,” says Sofia Sheikh from Penn State University, who helmed the subsequent analysis of the signal for Breakthrough Listen and is the lead author on an upcoming paper detailing that work, which will be published in early 2021. Soon, the team began calling the signal by a more formal name: BLC1, for “Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1.”

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To pique any SETI researcher’s interest, a signal must first endure a barrage of simple automated tests to rule out obvious terrestrial interference. Hundreds of candidates, however, routinely pass this phase and are singled out for further investigation. From there, almost all will be dismissed as some mirage or error—perhaps an excess of static, for instance—that fooled the winnowing algorithm, eliminating them from consideration as any sort of transmission from talkative aliens. “Except this one,” Sheikh says.

Revisiting the data from 2019, Sheikh and her colleagues noted that the telescope had looked at Proxima multiple times in scans lasting 30 minutes over the course of a week. Breakthrough Listen uses a technique called “nodding,” where the telescope will spend a period of time looking at a target and then an equivalent period looking elsewhere in the sky, to check that any potential signal is truly coming from the target and not, say, someone microwaving their lunch in an observatory’s cafeteria. “In five of the 30-minute observations over about three hours we see this thing come back,” Sheikh says, a hint that the signal indeed originated from Proxima Centauri—or some other deep-space source in that part of the sky—before making its way to Earth.

One might think, then, that the case would be closed. But while a natural cosmic source may seem unlikely, it cannot yet be ruled out—and, the thinking goes, as unlikely as a natural explanation might be, an “unnatural” explanation such as aliens is even less likely still. Consequently, every member of the Breakthrough Listen team interviewed for this article steadfastly insists the chance of this being anything other than terrestrial interference is exceedingly remote. “The most likely thing is that it’s some human cause,” says Pete Worden, executive director of the Breakthrough Initiatives. “And when I say most likely, it’s like 99.9 [percent].”

That rational skepticism extends all the way to the top. “When we launched Breakthrough Listen with Stephen Hawking in 2015,” Milner says, “it was understood that the most rigorous scientific approach will be used to analyze all candidate signals.” Milner and seemingly all the SETI researchers his funding supports fully expect BLC1 to wither away under the project’s now-intense scrutiny. But, just maybe, it won’t.

Also read: Solar system uses

Proxima Centauri

For the time being, months of further analysis are in store to definitively rule out other potential sources. And BLC1 itself, while seeming to come from Proxima Centauri, does not quite fit expectations for a techno signature from that system. First, the signal bears no trace of modulation—tweaks to its properties that can be used to convey information. “BLC1 is, for all intents and purposes, just a tone, just one note,” Siemion says. “It has absolutely no additional features that we can discern at this point.” And second, the signal “drifts,” meaning that it appears to be changing very slightly in frequency—an effect that could be due to the motion of our planet, or of a moving extraterrestrial source such as a transmitter on the surface of one of Proxima Centauri’s worlds. But the drift is the reverse of what one would naively expect for a signal originating from a world twirling around our sun’s nearest neighboring star. “We would expect the signal to be going down in frequency like a trombone,” Sheikh says. “What we see instead is like a slide whistle—the frequency goes up.”

So far, follow-up observations using Parkes have failed to turn up the signal again, with a repeat observation being a necessity to confirm that BLC1 is a genuine technosignature. “If it’s an ETI it must eventually be replicable, because it’s unlikely it would be a one-off,” says Shami Chatterjee, a radio astronomer from Cornell University in New York. “If an independent team at an independent observatory can recover the same signal, then hell yes. I would bet money that they won’t, but I would love to be wrong.”

Nonetheless, it remains one of the most intriguing signals found by Breakthrough Listen—or indeed any SETI program—to date, one that Sheikh compares to the so-called “Wow! signal” detected in 1977, which some believed to be of extraterrestrial origin. “I think it’s on par with the Wow! signal,” she says. More likely than not, however, this is simply some previously unknown source of Earth-based interference. In a few months, we’ll likely know for certain one way or another. But for the time being, it’s never aliens … right? “I hate that phrase, because if you say that then why even look,” Wright says. “What we mean by that is that it’s never been aliens before.”

Originally Published on: scientificamerican.com

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