The Breakthrough Listen project of the University Of California, Berkeley, is expecting the most recent hardware upgrade to give it the ability to sense alien life signals from billions of stars in the universe.
Thanks to the generosity of billionaires like Yuri Milner and the support of various charitable circles, Breakthrough Listen hopes to be able to give an answer to the classical dilemma – Are we alone in the universe?
Up until now, most of the work has been conducted by the SETI Institute and a number of other minor factions, probing the stars for a mark that might be an undeniable evidence of the presence of alien life of equal or superior intelligence to ours.
At the moment, the Breakthrough Listen program has reported that it has launched a research on a vast number of stars situated in our galaxy, by exploiting the newly revamped CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope situated in New South Wales, in Australia.
Billions of stars are tracked in the search for alien life signals by the Breakthrough Listen
Even though Parkes Radio Telescope has been operated by the Breakthrough Listen project from November 2016, and to date it only targeted the stars at only several light-years away from Earth. However, with the newly added hardware updates, this radio telescope is capable of “listening” to signals coming from tens of billions of stars and to register massive amounts of data.
The study is also going to survey the area surrounding the center of the Milky Way where the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A is surrounded by tens of millions of stars within its close proximity.
“With these new capabilities, we are scanning our galaxy in unprecedented detail,” said Danny Price, one of the Breakthrough Listen project’s scientists.
In the course of the Breakthrough Listen program to search for alien life signals, it is anticipated that 100 petabytes of data will be gathered and processed to filter out signals which come from the Earth or from other natural and common phenomena in the Universe.