Search for aliens heats up as scientists prepare huge survey of the sky


The never-ending search for extraterrestrial life is about to get a big boost thanks to a new research effort from the Breakthrough Listen project. Breakthrough Listen is a scientific endeavor dreamt up by scientists who believe we should be listening for aliens rather than looking for them. The program uses radio dishes to hunt for signs of life, such as communications signals drifting in space from intelligent civilizations.

The group is ramping up its efforts and will be using the radio scanning hardware at the Parkes Observatory in Australia to scan a larger chunk of the sky than ever before, with an incredible 1,500 of “listening” scheduled already.

“With these new capabilities, we are scanning our Galaxy in unprecedented detail,” Danny Price of the Breakthrough Listen project said in a statement. “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.”

The ultimate goal of the Breakthrough Listen project is to scan one million stars, including those in neighboring galaxies, in the hopes that a radio signal from some intelligent civilization gets caught in the net. Nobody can really say what the odds are that the project will be successful, but by listening for technological indicators of life rather than trying to see them, the scientists hope that they can prove the existence of extraterrestrials at far-off locations that could never be directly observed (in a visual sense) with current technology.. – READ MORE

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