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Australia On Board For Alien Hunt

First Posted: Nov 11, 2016 03:50 AM EST
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Australia is the latest to join Breakthrough Listen to search for alien civilizations with the help of the Parkes Radio Telescope in New South Wales.

Despite the fact that chances of finding aliens are slim, they are joining the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Automated Planet Finder at the Lick Observatory in California in the endeavor that could possibly yield promising results.

According to Phys.org, the combined all-sky range, superb telescope sensitivity and computing capacity, Breakthrough Listen is already the most powerful, comprehensive and intensive scientific research that is looking for signs of intelligent life forms in outer space.

Yuri Milner, founder of the Breakthrough Initiatives including Breakthrough Listen, told Australia Network News, "The addition of Parkes is an important milestone. These major instruments are the ears of planet Earth, and now they are listening for signs of other civilizations."

The expansion of Breakthrough Listen will work hand-in-hand with the world's largest filled-aperture radio receiver, helping scientists coordinate their searches for artificial signals. Each of these programs will be exchanging observing plans, search methods and data, including sharing of promising signals to help with the observation and analysis. The partnership could further represent a major step forward toward establishing a connected search of intelligent life in the universe.

ARC Laureate Fellow at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology and science coordinator for Breakthrough Listen added that the project could do more than just hunt ET. Their detection system can also simultaneously search for naturally occurring phenomena, including pulsars and large radio bursts.

Still, some scientists are skeptical of the results. John Reynolds, CSIRO program director, said, "I'm a bit of a sceptic, but I like the idea. I think it is actually real science even though the chance of success is small. It's definitely a question that has to be answered and you won't find out unless you actually look."

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