Alien life breakthrough: Alien hunters make petabyte of radio and optical data public

Looking for alien life shows no signs of letting up as it continues to be pursued today by national space agencies, academics and charities. However, no one has convincingly proven the existence of anything biological beyond the bounds of our planet. Alien life hunters are releasing the largest-ever data dump ever made public, in a bid to help in the search of extraterrestrial life.

Breakthrough Listen is a £80million ($100million) alien-hunting project launched by dignitaries including scientific colossus Professor Stephen Hawking.

And the enterprise has completed the “most comprehensive and sensitive” search for signatures of alien technology ever undertaken.

Breakthrough Listen will release the data from its search for alien life in the belief others can comb through the information.

The data dump comprises one petabyte of radio and optical telescope information.

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The Breakthrough Listen team working at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Centre say they have been working on a number of techniques designed to detect alien technosignatures elsewhere.

Technosignatures are signals indicate the use of technology built by alien life, such as broadcast transmitters.

These technosignatures might be powerful signals that are sent over only a limited range of radio frequencies, or bright lasers firing through the universe.

The cabal of scientists have also developed new algorithms allowing them to better understanding unexplained cosmic phenomena.

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The astronomers are unfortunately yet to find anything indicating the existence of alien life in that data.

However its release could still lead to further breakthroughs and inform future work as they continue to refine their work.

Dr Danny Price, the Breakthrough Listen Project Scientist for Australia’s Parkes observatory said: “This data release is a tremendous milestone for the Breakthrough Listen team.

“We scoured thousands of hours of observations of nearby stars, across billions of frequency channels.

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“We found no evidence of artificial signals from beyond Earth, but this does not mean there is notintelligent life out there: we may just not have looked in the right place yet, or peered deep enough to detect faint signals.”

The data is being released through a devoted page on the University of California, Berkeley’s website.

Peer-Reviewed scientific papers describing the methods for harvesting it have also been uploaded to that page as well as being submitted to astrophysics journals.

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