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Breakthrough Listen expands search for aliens


Posted on Wednesday, 9 May, 2018 | Comment icon 9 comments

Is there anyone out there ? Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 John Masterson, CSIRO
The world's most comprehensive hunt for intelligent extraterrestrials is about to begin its next major phase.
Launched back in January 2016, Breakthrough Listen had initially focused on stars relatively close to the Earth, but now thanks to recent upgrades to the Parkes Observatory in Australia, it will soon be initiating a much wider set of scans covering millions of stars over the next two months.

"With these new capabilities we are scanning our galaxy in unprecedented detail," said project scientist Danny Price from the University of California, Berkeley.

"By trawling through these huge datasets for signatures of technological civilizations, we hope to uncover evidence that our planet, among the hundreds of billions in our galaxy, is not the only where intelligent life has arisen."

Such huge data rates have been made possible thanks to the telescope's 'multibeam' radio array which features 13 beams capable of scanning large sections of the sky at once.

Over the 1,500 hours of scheduled observation time, this equates to around 100 petabytes of data.

Whether it will reveal the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life however remains to be seen.

Source: Extreme Tech | Comments (9)

Tags: Breakthrough Listen, Extraterrestrial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Merc14 on 9 May, 2018, 17:46
https://www.space.com/40520-breakthrough-listen-extraterrestrial-signal-star-search.html I wonder how they search through such a vast amount of data?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Tom the Photon on 9 May, 2018, 20:33
It will be a bit like flicking through the channels on mid-day TV looking for any sign of intelligent broadcasting!
Comment icon #3 Posted by L.A.T.1961 on 9 May, 2018, 20:59
SETI used volunteers, individuals can download a program for analysing the signal data while their computer is idle. This saves SETI having to operate it's own big system for searching through the huge amount of data. It has been copied by other research projects since SETI, Zooniverse is a similar project. https://www.zooniverse.org/       
Comment icon #4 Posted by L.A.T.1961 on 9 May, 2018, 21:04
Nice to see Parkes is still doing interesting work.      
Comment icon #5 Posted by Merc14 on 9 May, 2018, 23:44
I played with that for a while but I haven't seen anything similar for this, I'd love to know the details (the geek in me).
Comment icon #6 Posted by L.A.T.1961 on 10 May, 2018, 19:44
It looks like the Breakthrough Listen group will end up combining their efforts with the SETI home computer network.  Quote - "We will also be joining forces with University of California, Berkeley and their famous SETI@home program to bring the power of distributed computing to bear on the data. SETI@home is a platform of 9 million computers around the globe"  http://breakthroughinitiatives.org/opendata/1 Using volunteers to do visual checks can pay dividends scanning through images, people are still better than computers for spotting some types of objects.   https://daily.zooniverse.org/2013... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Merc14 on 10 May, 2018, 20:24
Thanks for that L.A.T., it is appreciated.  Maybe I'll offer some time again.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Occams Razor on 15 May, 2018, 7:03
Good news indeed. I was disappointed to learn recently that the new SKA pathfinder radio telescope (ASKAP) in Western Australia doesn't have a SETI component to it.
Comment icon #9 Posted by UFO photos on 16 May, 2018, 12:32
With the large distances in space, radio telescopes do not gives much meaning to the search for life. To communicate in space you need a different new tool based on QUANTUM PHYSICS If I say... QUANTUM PHYSICS EXPERIMENT IN VIENNA CONFIRMS "SPOOKY ACTION AT A DISTANCE" link I believe quantum physics will be the answer to what kind of communication that are used in space.


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