After a year
of observations, scientists ‘listening’ to extraterrestrial signals originating
from elsewhere in the universe have released their initial results—11 strange
gathering a huge amount of data, and combing through it afterward, the
Breakthrough Listen team has selected 11 events they considered to be
Breakthrough Listen is the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding
evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. The scope and power of the search are
on an unprecedented scale: The program includes a survey of the 1,000,000
closest stars to Earth. It scans the center of our galaxy and the entire
galactic plane. Beyond the Milky Way, it listens for messages from the 100
closest galaxies to ours.
instruments used are among the world’s most powerful. They are 50 times more
sensitive than existing telescopes dedicated to the search for intelligence. The
radio surveys cover 10 times more of the sky than previous programs. They also
cover at least 5 times more of the radio spectrum – and do it 100 times faster.
They are sensitive enough to hear common aircraft radar transmitting to us from
any of the 1000 nearest stars.
submitted a scientific paper which details over 600 stars across different
spectral types. According to scientists, they act as a ‘launch pad’ for further
investigations. The revolutionary initiative was backed by Stephen Hawking and
billionaire Yuri Milner who have allowed scientists to search the cosmos using
the Green Bank Radio Telescope in West Virginia, Lick Observatory’s Automated
Planet Finder on Mt Hamilton in California, and the Parkes Radio Telescope in
As noted by
Phys.org, so far, experts have collected several petabytes of scientific data
after pointing telescopes towards 692 stars in the universe—and each one of them
gets between three to five minute observations which are interspersed with
observations of other targets.
designated around 1700 stars that will eventually be studied in search for
Alien signals. Scientists have categorized the stars in two main groups: those
which are located within 1 light-years of our Sun and other stars which belong
to a sample which spreads across a main sequence and a branch of stars located
no more than 163 light-years from us.
experts have identified 11 signals that they believe are worth further
research. While at this time they still don’t believe its ALIENS, scientists
will continue analyzing the signals in order to fully understand what caused
them. Scientists note that the process of sifting the data is rather simple and
straightforward—first, distinguish artificial signals from natural signals by
looking at irregular behavior such as modulation or pulsing patterns.
In order to
understand whether the strange signals are from aliens or not, scientists need
to make sure they were not generated here on Earth.
Siemion of BSRC said: With the submission of this paper, the first scientific
results from Breakthrough Listen are now available for the world to review.
Although the search has not yet detected a convincing signal from
extraterrestrial intelligence, these are early days. The work that has been
completed so far provides a launch pad for deeper and more comprehensive
analysis to come.
the software is open source so anyone who wants to participate in the search
can do so.