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Breakthrough Listen’s Search for Intelligent Life Releases Unprecedented Data Survey

16 Feb 2020, 17:52 UTC
Breakthrough Listen’s Search for Intelligent Life Releases Unprecedented Data Survey
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SEATTLE, February 14, 2020 (Breakthrough Initiatives PR) – The Breakthrough Listen Initiative today released data from the most comprehensive survey yet of radio emissions from the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy, the region around its central, 4-million-solar-mass black hole, and observations of the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov.

Breakthrough Listen Principal Investigator Andrew Siemion announced the release of the nearly two petabytes of data at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It marks the second “data dump” from the four-year-old, $100M search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) initiative. A first download of a petabyte of radio and optical telescope data was released in June 2019, marking the largest release of SETI data in the history of the field.

The raw data – yet to be fully analyzed by astronomers – comes from a survey of the radio spectrum between 1 and 12 gigahertz (GHz). About half was captured via the Parkes Radio Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, which, because of its location in the Southern Hemisphere, is perfectly situated and outfitted to scan the entire galactic disk and galactic center. Parkes is part of the Australia Telescope National Facility, owned and managed by the country’s ...

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