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Astronomers are trying to explain highly unusual radio waves detected from a nearby red dwarf star.

What happened: This past spring, Astronomers at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico observed high-frequency radio wave pulses at a rate "unlike anything they had ever observed before" coming from star Ross 128, which is about 11 light years away.

These are a few of the possible explanations, per the Atlantic:

  • Solar flares, but: red dwarf flares "occur at much lower frequencies and travel in different directions than what was seen around Ross 128."
  • Crossing radio signals from another object in the "telescope's field of view," but: astronomers haven't seen anything to suggest that.
  • Passing satellites, but: astronomers "have never seen satellites release signals of this nature."
  • Interaction with an orbiting planet, but: "no planets have ben discovered around Ross 128."
  • Radio frequency interference, but: astronomers don't think that's likely.
  • Aliens, but: that's the least likely possibility.

Go deeper

Federal Reserve expands lending program for small businesses

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at a news conference in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said on Friday it would again lower the minimum loan size for its pandemic-era small business program.

Details: Businesses and nonprofits will be able to borrow a minimum of $100,000 from the facility, down from $250,000 — a move that might attract smaller businesses that don't need as hefty of a loan. Since the program launched earlier this year, the minimum loan size has been reduced twice.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business

How Trump and Biden would steer the future of transportation

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden would likely steer automotive policy in different directions over the next four years, potentially changing the industry's road map to the future.

Why it matters: The auto industry is on the cusp of historic technological changes and the next president — as well as the next Congress — could have an extraordinary influence on how the future of transportation plays out.