(ORDO NEWS) — The researchers attempted to determine the source of several unexplained flashes of light in the images from a decade ago.
The plates, which show images taken by the Palomar Observatory between 1949 and 1958, cover most of the sky visible from the northern hemisphere.
More recently, a small research team led by Beatrice Villarroel of the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics was trying to determine the source of several anomalous dots of light that appear in some images and then disappear without explanation.
“We found one image that had nine stars and they disappeared,” Villarroel said. “They weren’t there half an hour earlier or six days later.”
“And you wonder, ‘Is this real?'”
Finding answers wasn’t easy. The anomalous flares are unlike any known astronomical object, and there were no satellites at the time the pictures were taken.
Of course, conditional possibilities remain – flashes can be associated with rocket tests being carried out at that time, or even be photographic defects.
However, at the moment there is no definitive explanation, which opens the possibility that these mysterious outbreaks may be extraterrestrial in nature.
“We are very careful when we write our articles because we are not sure if they are real or not,” Villarroel said. “We must always assume that there may not be an alien explanation.”
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