Dr Ragbir Bhathal is an award winning author and astrophysicist, who carries out research in Australian science studies, physics and astronomy at the University of Western Sydney Macarthur.
Last December on a clear night Astrophysicist Ragbir Bhathal at the University of Western Sydney discovered a "suspicious" laser-like signal coming from the coordinates of Gliese 581 e during a SETI sweep. Bhathal is still investigating the signal and scanning the coordinates for a repeat detection.
Instead, he's spent the past few months meticulously investigating whether the unrecognised signature was caused by a glitch in his instrumentation, a rogue astrophysical phenomenon, or some unknown random noise.
Even if he picks up the signal again - he's been scouring the same co-ordinates of the night sky on an almost daily basis since - the scientific rule book dictates he'll need to get it peer-reviewed before he can take his announcement to the world. "And that is a lot of ifs," he concedes.
The hunt for extraterrestrial life has been boosted recently by the discovery last month of a rocky world not unlike our own, about 20 light years away, which its Swiss discoverers have dubbed Gliese 581 C, the latest in a long line of planet discoveries during the past decade.
But he's a bit skeptical about it, which is good. Once he gets a repeat, then he'll be dancing..
As you've spent more than 20 years hunting for an alien signal, you think you'd be celebrating if you noticed a mysterious pulse suddenly rising up on your computer readouts. A regular pulse, amid the random clatter of the cosmos, suggests that someone very smart at the other end is sending a message.source
Update : NASA - Habitable Planet GLIESE 581 G Could Have Extraterritorial Life