Results of the largest search for aliens

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The Breakthrough Listen project of the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, aimed at finding extraterrestrial civilizations, has collected almost two petabytes of data. Now they are posted in the public domain.

So, now anyone can look for greetings from aliens in files published as part of this record-breaking work to find brothers in mind.

Recall that the project started in 2016. In 2018, astronomers began searching for signals on a galactic scale. To do this, they used the Australian CSIRO Parkes telescope , seriously upgraded with Milner’s money.

At this telescope, half of the data provided today was obtained. Due to its geographical position, it is ideal for observing the plane of the Galaxy. But it is precisely there that most of the stars are concentrated, and therefore, probably, of the planets.

The second half of the data was collected on the Green Bank radio telescope in the United States. Researchers searched for alien signals at frequencies from 1 to 12 gigahertz.

This is the second release of Breakthrough Listen data. The first one was released in 2019, and since then the amount of information received has doubled.

Project participants invite experts from all over the world to participate in the analysis of the collected data.

“Of all the conducted observations of us, probably 20% or 30% of the data were analyzed and included in the [scientific] article, – says Andrew Simon from the Institute of SETI. Our goal – to analyze them not simply to 100%, and 1000% or 2000%. We want to analyze them many times.”

Among the data already processed by experts, were very curious. For example, astronomers searched for radio signals from the 20 closest stars arranged so that the Earth can be detected from their systems by the transit method. The observer tools were sensitive enough to detect a directional power transmitter like the Arecibo radio telescope.

The researchers also checked if the interstellar wanderers Muamua and Borisov were signaling.

So far, no apparent artificial radiation has been detected. But astronomers do not despair, because most of the searches are yet to come.

For example, enthusiasts are going to check the area of ​​the center of the Galaxy. There is an audacious hypothesis that super-civilization could use its central black hole as a source of energy for transmitters.

By the way, now the famous VLA radio telescope is joining the search for greetings from aliens . Astronomers will not review his observing programs, just all the data collected will now be analyzed for two purposes. Astrophysicists will explore the Universe, and contact enthusiasts will seek messages from brothers in mind.

For this, the SETI Institute will install a special interface on the VLA.


This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.

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