$100 Million Breakthrough Listen Project Will Search For Alien Megastructure Star

Posted: Oct 27 2016, 6:09am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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$100 Million Breakthrough Listen Project will Search for Alien Megastructure Star
  • SETI Targets Tabby’s Star for Signs of Alien Life with $100 Million Breakthrough Listen Project

Stephen Hawking’s $100M Breakthrough Listen project will look into a strange large structure that happens to be 1400 light years away from the earth. Signs of life may be found on it.

Astronomers scanning the night sky full of stars are concentrating on an enigmatic world that lies 1400 light years ago. They were basically searching for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

The alien megastructure has been pinpointed as a possible source of valuable data in the future. A $100 million project headed by Stephen Hawking will target the star to find out whether life exists in the worlds that surround it.

It is termed Tabby’s Star and its regular cycles of flashing and dimming show that intelligent beings may be inhabiting it. A more up close and personal look may be needed to get down to the nitty gritty stuff in the case of this strange star.

Called the Breakthrough Listen Project, the $100 million scheme will employ a huge telescope to study the alien megastructure. The Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia will be focused on the star. Tabby’s Star has puzzled the scientists since its discovery last year.

The dimming phenomenon is said to be due to a Dyson Sphere. This may be an advanced technology used to harness the energy of the star by an alien race.

The Berkeley SETI Research Center team explains why they want to observe Tabby’s star. Video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally.

The latest effort by earthlings will use a very sensitive instrument to measure some of the signals coming from Tabby’s Star. Up until now, the star has been viewed by every astronomer through every kind of telescope known to man.

Hubble or Keck, you name it, every long-distance astronomical tool has been employed to detect any signs of life in the star system. So far nothing has been found.

Now the star is to be closely monitored for three months straight without any breaks. It is hoped that this strategy will pay off in the end although it is highly unlikely when you come to think of it.

It is the level of sensitivity of the instruments that matters in the end. The Breakthrough Listen Project was funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.

It has the backing of the famous super-genius, Stephen Hawking. Despite the excitement over finding alien life forms on Tabby’s Star, the likelihood of such a fantasy becoming a reality is close to nil.

Andrew Siemion explains how radio telescopes work. Video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally

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